Could New Technology Prevent Fake Designer Goods?

Submitted by on Thursday, 15 August 2013 | No Comment

Reports have suggested that a new piece of technology will be implemented to detect counterfeit designer goods travelling in and out of the UK. 

The terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (bit of a handful) has been developed by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL). It aims to go above and beyond by detecting fake goods that the human eye wouldn’t be able to identify.

The idea is that the electromagnetic radiation beam will be passed over anything which seems  bit suspicious. Then, the radiation will detect the composition of the fabric. From this, the composition can be compared to the real one from the original item. If the two compositions aren’t the same, then the item can be identified as a counterfeit product. Clever, right? If all goes well, customs officials will start using this technology.


“Counterfeit clothes can look and feel almost exactly like the real thing and so customs officials need technological assistance to spot them,” explained John Molloy, who worked on the NPL project. “Terahertz spectroscopy is a fast, safe and reliable test that could help safeguard one of the UK’s most valuable industries.”

This is probably a really good invention considering that fake goods are believed to cost the British fashion industry £3.5 billion a year. If this is going to help the economy and help tackle the prominent issue of counterfeit products that all luxury brands face, why not?

Online = Major Problem

We’ve all been online and seen that too good to be true handbag for an unbelievable price. Well, 9 times out of 10, it really is unbelievable as there are so many fake items online. It’s hard to figure out what’s real and what’s not sometimes, unless you’re shopping from an official retailer. A recent report even suggested that one in five shoppers searching for a bargain online were deceived into buying from fraudulent websites. Ouch!


Research from the luxury goods retailer Vestiaire Collective claimed that in a sample of people who bought fake fashion items, 20% said the designer price tag was the main reason why they didn’t buy the real thing. Another 17% claimed to have been duped, thinking they had bought a genuine item but later realising it was false.

Why Bother With Fakes?

Unsurprisingly, it was the younger generations who were more likely to buy counterfeits – those aged 25-34 made up nearly a quarter of fake-fanciers. The price tags are definitely the biggest reason why young people are so prone to buying fake designer items, that’s one thing we’re clear on. However, my opinion on fake designer items will always remain the same… why bother? We all want to own the latest Prada or Gucci, but if you don’t have £2000 to blow on a handbag, just buy one from a high-street retailer! The amount of choice out there is huge and nobody is going to judge you for walking around with a bag from H&M.

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