Christian Response uses fake clothing for relief projects

Fake brand name clothes with a street value of more than £200,000 have been given away to charity.

Trading Standards officers in Devon seized the imported fakes last year.

Following talks with nearly all the top brands of sportswear, officers arranged to donate the clothes to international relief charity Christian Response, which will send them to Moldova in the former Soviet Union.

Counterfeit brand clothing is normally burnt to prevent resale in the UK, but increasingly trade officers are encouraging brands to donate them to poor countries instead, said Paul Thomas of Devon Trading Standards.

"It's rewarding for us as trading officers, and charities working in the Third World benefit. The attendant publicity also serves as a warning,

he said.

Hugh Scudder, trustee of Christian Response, said that donations of good quality clothing helped to improve the morale of some of the charity's poorer beneficiaries.

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