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Designing the antidote to counterfeit culture

By Zhou Wenting | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-01 07:42

"I also used the scarf to make the shoelaces in the form of a horsewhip. People from the Kazak ethnic group have a strong emotional connection with horses and grasslands, so I tried to blend these elements into my work," says Adli, who is a sophomore majoring in dress design at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology.

Adli says he chose to work on shoes because there are still children in some parts of the world who don't have shoes to keep their feet warm in winter.

"Although these shoes are counterfeits, we can restore their original function as footwear and be of use to people when we remove their fake labels. I hope to donate the shoes to children who are in need of them," he says.

Zhang created a traditional Chinese lantern using fake Levis jeans and other materials such as wooden dowels, silk and paper.

"Because the jeans were counterfeits, I didn't want people to recognize the fact they were fake, so I only used them on the frame of the lantern. Through my handiwork, I created something very different from the original product," she says.

The competition, which started in mid-September, received suggestions on how to destroy and recycle fake products from more than 400 college students around the country.

Zhao Hang, a Shanghai-based artist and an instructor to the contestants, says the rise of counterfeits in society is largely due to people's vanity.

"Creative art comes from people's true feeling. Through this design competition, we hope some people's pursuit of fake products can be replaced with true emotions," he says.

Zheng Junfang, Alibaba's chief platform governance officer, says the fight against fake products must include efforts from society as a whole, particularly the younger generation.

"They are the main force in the internet age. More than a third of the shop owners on Taobao are under the age of 24," she says.

The group has attempted to include young people in various ways, such as inviting university students to visit its warehouse of fake products or to attend regular media briefings on platform governance, she says.

"In the future, we will invite them to meet with our task force who often work together with police on the frontline in the fight against fake goods, and discuss issues about intellectual property protection," Zheng says.

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