Monday, 17 February 2014

Imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery.

We have some rather disappointing news to share with you, and we're writing this in support of one of the designers we've worked with, Eloise Renouf.

Eloise recently came across some new spring/summer season products on sale in Debenhams department store, with pattern designs that bear more than a passing resemblance to her own work, which is sold on Etsy.

This is one of the pattern designs by Eloise, used on our giftwrap and notebooks.

And these are some of the kitchenware items produced by Debenhams.

Eloise has taken this matter up with Debenhams, but their response has been very dismissive. She posted on her Facebook page;

I've been speaking with the head of buying for home wares. They have actually admitted buying my work for "inspiration". The wrapping paper has been gracing their office. They have simply "drawn inspiration" from "a variety of sources" and so their design is "original".

We're a teeny tiny company, and value the talent of the artists we work with, by paying them a licence fee for their designs. If we can manage to find the money within our limited budget, then surely larger companies could easily do so, rather than using someone in-house to create an imitation.

This is a widespread problem for many small businesses/artists. Other people we've worked with, such as Gemma Correll, and Tatty Devine, have been victim to even more blatant copying of their designs.

So we want to help name-and-shame those responsible for this kind of behaviour, in an effort to perhaps persuade them to change their ways. As well as raising public awareness of this issue, so that they can make their own judgement over where they choose to shop.

UPDATE, 5th March 2014:

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