September 1, 2020
Clothing and Apparel Leaders Join Coalition to Stop the Sale of Counterfeit and Stolen Goods by Passing INFORM Consumers Act
GAP, Levi Strauss, JC Penney, Birkenstock, and Top Apparel Trade Organizations Join Buy Safe America Coalition to Bring Basic Transparency Requirements to Online Third-Party Marketplaces
Washington, DC – The Buy Safe America Coalition, a diverse group of retailers, consumer groups, and manufacturers who support efforts to combat organized retail crime (ORC) and protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods, today announced new clothing and apparel industry leaders are joining the coalition.
The new members include Gap, Levi Strauss & Co., JC Penney and Birkenstock Americas along with prominent clothing and apparel trade organizations, building on the coalition’s broad support throughout the retail industry. The coalition is urging Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, modernize consumer protection laws by requiring online marketplaces to collect and verify basic seller information, and require sellers to provide that information to consumers.
ORC poses a serious threat to clothing and apparel companies, with criminals targeting everything from everyday essentials to high-end goods like designer fashion and luxury brands. According to the Department of Homeland Security, apparel and other types of accessories, along with footwear, top the list of goods and products that are routinely prone to counterfeiting and trafficking.
“Clothing and apparel retail stores that line Main Streets across the country are on the forefront of the fight against counterfeits and stolen goods,” said Michael Hanson, spokesperson for Buy Safe America Coalition. “America’s largest apparel companies share our mission to protect consumers and communities and are urging Congress to pass basic transparency and verification requirements to make it harder for bad actors to peddle stolen and counterfeit goods.
“As a company of trusted lifestyle brands, we’re proud to create great product for customers of every age and for every stage of life. We want customers to look and feel great when they wear our product, and we want them to shop with confidence, knowing they are purchasing quality apparel made with the creative integrity that makes our brands so distinctive in the marketplace,” said Stephanie Lester, head of Government Affairs at Gap Inc. “The INFORM Consumers Act will help ensure American families shopping for apparel online have confidence that they are purchasing authentic products from trusted brands.”
“We can’t rely on third-party marketplaces’ current efforts to stop stolen and counterfeit goods from being sold on their platforms,” said Jim DePaul, executive vice president of stores, JCPenney. “Requiring basic safeguards to better collect and verify the identity of those selling goods online is one of the simplest ways to prevent the proliferation of counterfeit and stolen goods being sold online. Without reform, legitimate businesses and brands – and ultimately consumers – will continue to suffer the consequences.”
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), an initial supporter of the coalition, echoed calls for action. “For too long, bad actors have taken advantage of the current framework to hide their true identities when selling counterfeit and stolen apparel, footwear, and accessories online,” said Steve Lamar, AAFA’s President and CEO. “We welcome these new coalition partners, and look forward to working with them and policymakers to advance the INFORM Consumers Act and to protect consumers who are shopping online in record numbers.”
“We are committed to ensuring the billions of pairs of shoes imported into the U.S. each year are safe for shoppers,” said Matt Priest, CEO of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA). “Online marketplaces jeopardize the reputations of legitimate brands by allowing bad actors to sell knockoff footwear that does not meet the quality or safety standards customers have come to expect. Cracking down on counterfeiters will make sure that consumers are only buying footwear from authentic brands and sellers and protect Americans buying from them.”
Other trade organizations representing the clothing and apparel industry, including the Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association and the Fashion Accessories Shippers Association, are already members of the Buy Safe America Coalition, among other leading trade organizations and companies.
Visit BuySafeAmerica.org for more information about the growing problem of stolen and counterfeit goods and solutions to better protect consumers and businesses.
The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates and law enforcement officials who support efforts at all levels of government to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.
The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates, and law enforcement officials who support efforts to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.Learn More
The marketplace today for common, everyday goods is flooded with counterfeit and stolen products. Absent reform, legitimate businesses, and consumers will continue to be harmed.Learn More
Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes a counterfeit product? Why aren’t major online marketplaces doing more? Answers to common questions around the issue of organized retail crime.Learn More