La Salada Pirate Enclave, Lomas de Zamora, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina
This fair has been around since 1991, but saw its most significant expansion after the 2001 Argentina Debt Default, where Argentinean Peso devalued 400% and 5 presidents were overthrown in 15 days.
At that point; Argentinean middle class saw the need to acquire clothing and other products at one fourth the price. The fair's yearly revenue grew from under 100,000 the early nineties to 15 billion in 2009 according to the official statistics institute INDEC.
What It Is
La Salada is a set of 3 fairs with over 30,000 stands for all kinds of products.
One of the staples of La Salada are "pirate" clothes. These items:
- Come from the grey/black market usually evading taxes and/or violating intellectual property laws.
- Small family shops willing to make the same product at a significantly smaller price than the established brands.
Where Pirate Products Comes From
- Clothing companies in argentina send their products to be manufactured to sweat shops. These shops obviously receive the blueprints and manufacturing procedures. After the requested production is done with, owners and/or workers of these shops, within/outside the shops, organize to produce more of these items to be sold to whomever wants to buy it, using the same bluprints and manufacturing procedures and often a counterfeit label.
- These blueprints and manufacturing procedures are also acquired by other shops or reverse engineered from the original or counterfeit product.
Where to find it
The largest grey market fair in America is located right outside the city of Buenos Aires. Most stands sell some kind of pirate item, including but not limited to clothing. People go the to buy for themselves and to resell at their shops. There is even dedicated buses to take you there.
Lately, 30 small versions of "La Salada" called "Saladitas" appeared in the city of buenos aires itself which are small shops or fairs of small shops selling the same products often under a legal retail front (city licenses, sales tax)
A Narrow Brand cargo short costs you around 130 pesos at the "Narrow Store", the same pant, with the same design, the same sewing and fabric quality at "La Salada" costs 30 pesos.