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September 23, 2012

Counterfeit lawn and copies of designs have become a dilemma for textile owners of many popular brands. Entrepreneurs are losing customers and million of rupees every season.

Taking advantage of the booming business, some opportunists are producing copies of popular trademarks with same designs but relatively low quality at cheap prices.

Aasia, a lady buying lawn in the main bazaar in Mohammad Pura argues with the shopkeeper over the quality of the suit. She asked the shopkeeper to return the money that she had paid him for what seemed to be branded lawn but was obviously a  copy made from poor quality yarn.

Counterfeit lawn print prices ranges from Rs500 up to 2000 and are easily available in different markets. However the prices of genuine lawn suits are double compared to the copies.

For the lower middle classes, however, copied designs are a boon as they cannot afford the real product. Sadia Kanwal, who stitches lady suits in Islam Nagar, says it is not possible for families with meagre resources to make both ends meet. “In the current circumstances buying a new suit is the biggest problem rather than worrying about it being a copy or real. Those looking for low prices are ready to accept low quality. A lawn outfit has a life span of not more than two years so there is no need to purchase something of good quality that promises to last a life-time. Every year there are new designs to choose from and women love shopping for new stuff rather than wear the same outfit for more than two seasons.”

Sajid Ali a salesman in Anarkali says that sale of counterfeit lawn is increasing with every passing day.  “Like pirated CDs, customers have now started asking specifically for copied lawn suits without any hesitation.”

A number markets in the clock tower bazaars are flooded with copies of lawn brands being sold right under the nose of authorities responsible for protecting copyright.

“A number of times, mill owners have been raided for counterfeit designs and arrested but to no avail,” says Sajid Ali.

The Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Rehan Bharara said the copyrights law was enforced but not implemented. “Last year several raids were conducted and hundreds of metres of counterfeit lawn was seized, however, the business will flourish until the government ensures strict implementation of the copyright law. ——M.S.