Parajumpers’ Counterfeit Problem
Parajumpers, a fashion line from Italian designer Massimo Rossetti, is named after the Alaska-based 210th Rescue Squadron. As a designer and creator of high-end products that can endure the harshest environments on the planet, Parajumpers’ stunning quality quickly earned them a level of demand and prestige that made them a desirable target for criminals supplying counterfeit products. Parajumpers soon found cheap imitations being sold in the global marketplace and looked to the experts at OpSec Security to solve their problem.
OpSec as the Solution
On the frontline to defeat counterfeiting, the team at Parajumpers collaborated with trusted authentication solutions provider OpSec Security. Parajumpers’ goal consisted of finding and removing fake products in the marketplace, not only to prevent damage to their brand image and company revenues, but also to ensure their customers’ safety and wellness.
Parajumpers is an extremely innovative brand with highly technical components designed to deliver superior performance. Their proud heritage and standards of creating high-quality items are showcased through such intricate processes. Many counterfeits that imitate Parajumpers are cheaply produced and are non-sanitized, allowing harmful bacteria, fungus, and mildew to grow inside and on the product materials. Knockoffs often contain thin fabrics colored with toxic substances and do not offer any real protection from cold weather and other elements – putting hard working, loyal consumers in harsh conditions with low-performing gear.
Furthermore, the production of counterfeit goods often supports illegal activities such as child labor, unsafe working conditions and organized crime. To set up a successful brand protection program, OpSec Security developed a multifaceted approach that:
- Could be easily verified by all stakeholders but very difficult to be copied by counterfeiters
- Would provide conclusive authentication of any suspected counterfeits to authorized staff
- Ensure the supply chain remains secure and controlled
To meet these objectives, OpSec used its core strengths in optical and material science, apparel trim solutions and design services.
Optical & Material Science
With decades as a leader in optical security, OpSec has provided Optically Variable Device (OVD) technology to numerous global high security projects including national banknotes, passports, and other government-issued documents.
The same technology was implemented to originate a highly secure OVD that would secure all Parajumpers products. This would simultaneously ensure that the design complimented Parajumpers’ branding and philosophy.
OpSec utilized industry-leading technology to create a security hologram that encompassed multiple security features at overt, covert, and forensic levels to ensure the label remained uncompromised.
Certificate of Authenticity
The paper label carrying the security OVD was printed with product information and then applied to an OpSec supplied ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ card. Once attached to the certificate, the combination of advanced adhesive and security perforations can thwart any attempt to remove or re-use the security label by destroying it. This renders both the label and certificate void of use.
The ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ is placed within a protective sleeve and attached to authentic Parajumpers clothing by authorized supply chain members.
The secure certificate not only enhances the perception of value, care, and confidence for the brand, but also acts as a physical warranty for the product and guarantees that the customer is buying an authentic Parajumpers product.
Woven Label Security
While the label and certificate provided authenticity and enhancement externally to the product, there was also a requirement to ensure security was embedded within the Parajumpers apparel in a way that would remain for the life of the product.
To meet this objective, OpSec designed a premium brand label that included a covert security feature known only to the Ape & Partners S.p.A. brand protection team.
Investment Payout for Parajumpers
The global fashion and apparel sector is under constant threat of counterfeit and IPR infringements, remaining one of the most significant threats to brand owners.
Established brands such as Parajumpers are at threat, with counterfeiters going to great lengths to emulate authentic products.
For long-term, profitable growth it is vital that brand owners take ongoing action to ensure they remain ‘ahead of the game’ to protect their customers, brand values and revenues. Parajumpers management took a proactive stance on this threat by working closely with OpSec to analyze the problems at hand. This allows subsequent reviews and evaluations to find all possible solutions.
In being able to provide a full suite of brand protection solutions, OpSec is unique in being able to take a ‘white-board’ approach to projects, seamlessly integrating optical security, trim products (and when required) a full suite of digital solutions including Track and Trace, Consumer Engagement and Online Brand Protection.
The unique set of solutions implemented in the Parajumpers case ensures that when suspected counterfeit products are found in the marketplace or distribution chain, they can now be identified quickly and easily.
All aspects of the project were successfully developed in close partnership, ensuring that an uncompromising level of authentication was delivered, while concurrently providing a set of premium trim products that would help enhance the brand and increase customer confidence.