Monday, June 25, 2012

The (not really) Evil of Branded Clothes and Branded stuff

Couple of days ago i heard an argument from one of my friend and his argument was sensible at first and convincing too. He said it is wrong to blame the government which we have elected unless we ourselves are doing something good to the society. We should do charity instead of buying expensive branded clothes and he is so right in saying that we should do charity; Instead of buying expensive branded clothes we can buy a good non branded clothes and support the locals and use the same money for charity or even investment. The only problem that i have with this argument is the majority of the non-branded clothes were sold by those who do not want to pay taxes or evade taxes (especially in india). The people who make and sell these non branded clothes usually label their products resembling a branded product like lee, wrangler or adidas. The quality is only as good as what you have paid but still even the brand won't stay for more than a year. Every year the name of the brand changes in these shops because for the first 1 or 2 years of your business you do not have to pay tax on manufacturing goods. The shops which sell such unbranded fake products usually do not pay taxes and the concerned government officers are paid off too. The small factories which manufacture such goods do not pay taxes and they dont keep an account of the actual number of products that they make or sell so that they can pay far less than what they are supposed to pay, if at all they decide to pay taxes. So by buying unbranded goods such as these we are directly supporting illegal activities, tax evasion, crime and who knows where this illegal black money goes?, obviously for some black shady activities and may be even terrorism.Most of these branded clothes like lee, adidas, fila are made in india by arvind mills and then they are distributed through out the world.
Most of these arguments which say that you dont have to buy branded clothes but use the same money for charity comes from those people who will never say that stop using petrol/diesel/gas which pollutes the environment because this oil is produced by them but these branded products are not made by them.
When did the charity became only about money. What about charity of knowledge? What about the charity of your precious time for the society? What about free clothes to your poor neighbors or construction workers?. If you give 100Rs in india to a poor he will go and spend on a drink or gambling and even if we assume that he uses it to feed his family it will only last for a day or two. If we equip him with the knowledge to earn his own leaving that is a far noble charity compared to any amount of money given to him since that knowledge will lead to his children education and his entire line of family from there onwards might have that power of education and knowledge. I believe a tech blogger like me who takes time in posting articles online on blogs or youtube, so that others can use them to solve their problems is also doing a charity because i am using my time to contribute something to the society rather than go on a hot date or spend time in a bar. A mean may satisfy a beggars hunger for a moment but a knowledge to earn his meal will never make him stay hungry again.