Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Turkey is the land of the genuine fake. It can be a fun experience bartering with the ruddy bovver boys down the pazar to get a couple of lira knocked off the knock off. Sadly, much of what’s dropped off the back of a tractor isn’t made in Turkey. We’re talking cheap counterfeits from the Far East, particularly China. No one expects the goods to last, no guarantee given, no refund offered. It’s all part of the cut and thrust of travelling market life.

As cooler nights approach, attention turns to winter wear and keeping the tootsies snug and warm. I hear Ugg boots are all the rage these days. I’m not sure why. They look like something my granny used to wear (actually that’s not true, my grandmother was only ever seen in court shoes – she was poor but stylish, but I digress). Genuine Ugg boots are made by a reputable manufacturer Down Under using sheepskin that is humanely produced and a pair can cost up to £200 a throw. As a carnivorous leather wearer (shoes and belts, not chaps and thongs) I can hardly complain about the use of animals in the rag and shoe trade. Times are hard and because of the cost, many people may be tempted by cheaper fakes that are flooding the markets in Turkey, Blighty and elsewhere. Please don’t. Allegedly, some of the imitations are made from Chinese racoon dogs that are skinned alive for their pelts. Yes, you read right – skinned alive. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase cheap and nasty.

Don’t believe me? Check out this article (be warned the images are graphic)

Want to do more? Sign the petition

Thanks to Jeanette for this.

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16 thoughts on “Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

  1. How utterly horrendous. And I agree with you – Ugg boots, like their name, are very ugly. I thought they had gone out of fashion though…was hoping they had. I will warn people about the skinning alive bit… Horrible.


  2. Dear Jack: You are the highlight of my day. I would like to know (aside from your incredible writing) how you get people to your site. Mine is lagging and I had it professionally done. It is on Domestic Violence (I wrote a memoir—-5 star on Amazon—but I don’t get the pull you do. There are 1.3 million women in the US alone abuse annually. And the numbers keep climbing. Any suggestions?


    Penelope Van Buskirk


  3. I won’t buy fakes, apart from the hideous animal cruelty in the Fake Uggs the trade in counterfeits supports exploitative labour, money laundering and terrorism. I really don’t want to support that for the sake of cheap anything.

    Turkey is in the process of cracking down on the massive counterfeit trade within its borders which is estimated to be worth some $6 billion, but the government can only prosecute where a complaint has been made by the holder of the trademark and there are lots of ways to avoid a fine.

    If the buyers stopped asking for fakes and started asking artisans and shopkeepers for something genuinely Turkish it could encourage them to produce more original work and the trade in counterfeits would naturally reduce.


    PS Uggs – brilliant, don’t come moaning to me in winter when your feet are cold.


  4. Jack – In my absence from Didim I heard that a certain lawyer representing various brands names entered the shopping mall with the intent of speaking to shop owners selling the fakes. Ended up in a brawl with the lawyer requiring personal protection and the chief of police getting involved. My point is though, if shop owners are willing to sell fake goods they are certainly not going to find out the source of them so buyers are no more in the know then the shop owner. Like you say, better to go without rather than wear a dead dog!


  5. Hopefuly, Jack, with you bringing this to the fore more people will take notice. It is very difficult here not to buy stuff made in China, but we do our best.


  6. Just signed the petition. Things like this make me sick to my stomach and I have to call upon all my reserves to not curl up in a ball and howl for those poor animals.

    As a card carrying, raw food vegan I am extremely careful of the shoes I buy. For many years vegan shoes were hideously ugly – think thick soled Jesus creepers on a bad day….but thankfully (although not for my bank account) there are now companies like Borgeois Boheme that do some rather passable shoes. Shame that all I wear now are flip flops or barefeet!!! 🙂


  7. Thank you Jack for running this article.The link is extremely distressing(it made me throw up!)but I hope it will make a few more people think before buying.I am a self confessed tight fisted old cow but not at the expense of an animals unbelievable suffering.
    I agree totally with Karen that if the fakes industry could be got rid of it would do so much for the Turkish textile and clothing market.There are now some excellent quality clothes and footwear available by Turkish manufacturers.
    Fake Uggs-uggggg!fashion faux pas.
    Please sign the petiton peeps.


  8. There are so many tv programmes and articles like the one you linked to about the fake clothing, footwear, accessory market. A big part of the problem is, many people don’t want to know. The information is there for all to see – animals and people being treated horrendously in the production of fake goods. Many of the high street shops in Fethiye sell genuine clothing and footwear that has been made in Turkey and we do our best to stick to those.


  9. What happens when you can’t afford the real thing and you have just received a pair of fake Uggs from a friend as an early Christmas present? A week ago. Not being aware of course that some of these are being produced in such a horrendous way. They are now sitting in the bottom of my wardrobe and will probably never see the light of day.


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