Can I Legally Re-purpose Designer Goods?
The reseller world is all buzzing about Netflix original, “Slobby’s World”. The show focuses on Slobby Robby, owner of Generation Cool and his 80’s/90’s pop-culture shop. Robby showcases some of his custom-re-purposed pieces, like those MCM, Gucci, LV Slides. With sustainable fashion becoming a hot trend, you’d think re-purposing would be a fantastic alternative for the environment. Creating less landfill, gas, emissions and wastes in our oceans sounds great, but don’t start cutting up designer garments before reading the legalities.
Source: Netflix; Slobby’s World
Let’s say you found a vintage Gucci bag at a thrift shop. The handles are in terrible shape, the bottom is all stained however, the other material is salvageable. You decide to bust out the old Singer sewing machine and start re-purposing, using the designer scrapes and creating a new custom-made item to resell. This is where the trademark law comes in. Trademark law protects a business’ commercial identity or brand by discouraging other businesses from adopting a name or logo that is “confusingly similar” to an existing trademark.
The Gucci logo is artistically designed, and has been timeless and classic since the design took shape. Now It is the most memorable and recognizable fashion logo ever created. The logo symbolizes grandeur and authenticity and is known worldwide. Using the logo or anything which could identify as a Gucci item is infringing on the companies copy-written ownership. This does not just apply to Gucci, pretty much all brands have copy-written owner ship trademarking their logos, name etc.
If you decide that you would like to re-purpose designer textile, you must have written consent from the designer. An official agreement in paper from the designer will save you legal issues. Just because you own the item, does not mean you own the rights to the logo.
If you doubt the authenticity of your designer item, we highly recommend having your item authenticated by a professional. Below are some of the top websites that will authenticate those designer items for you.
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