Back in January, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower appeared on the BBC's WatchDog when the consumer rights programme investigated the issue of counterfeit lanyard resellers on digital market places such as Amazon and eBay. The illegal and unethical selling and reselling of the Sunflower products is an issue we have been aware of for some time and something that we naturally want to end. But now things have taken a more sinister turn, as we have uncovered a counterfeit lanyard that is being produced without the essential breakaway needed to ensure that the lanyard cannot become a choking hazard.
As part of our ongoing commitment to removing counterfeit lanyards available on Amazon, eBay and Etsy, we regularly place orders of these goods in order to return them to the sender and obtain the sources address, which we pass onto our legal team to commence legal proceedings.
While conducting this routine operation, we have discovered an extremely worrying lanyard that is currently available to purchase on Amazon. This seller has attempted to present themselves as a legitimate business, listed as being from the UK but when the lanyard was received the packaging had a Taiwan postage stamp on it.
In the photo below, the lanyard at the top and in the centre are official Hidden Disabilities Sunflower products. The standard lanyard, in the middle, has a single safety break and the 3 point break lanyard, at the top, is designed with extra safety in mind with three safety breaks. Safety breaks are what prevents lanyards from becoming a danger to those who wear them. This mechanism means that if a small amount of pressure is placed on the fastener, the connection will snap apart, releasing any pressure that might have been exerted on the airway of the wearer and eliminating any danger of strangulation. As you can see, the counterfeit lanyard, at the bottom, has no safety break.
This is a huge health and safety risk to the wearer as a lanyard, that cannot break presents a risk of choking and death. These lanyards can also catch, causing injury, and could also be used to drag or restrain the wearer.
What are we doing about it?
Our legal team have today reported the seller to Amazon. Our operations team have also left feedback, in the form of an Amazon product review, stating that these products are not only counterfeit but that they are not fit for purpose and present a dangerous, choking hazard to anyone who wears one of these lanyards. We have also provided this update to the BBC's WatchDog.
How can I be sure my lanyard is genuine and safe?
Please do not put yourself or others at risk by purchasing these potentially life-threatening items from sellers that are only interested in exploiting Sunflower wearers for profit.
Sunflower lanyards are available for free from most of our supporting businesses or you can purchase one directly from our online store here.