DURBAN - Dave Hutchison, the founder of Sexy Socks, claimed on Monday that retail giant Woolworths has stolen the design of his bamboo made socks.
This is according to Business Insider South Africa.
In a Facebook post on Monday, the Sexy Socks founder said that the retailer is crushing small businesses in South Africa by copying their designs.
Hutchison wrote in the Facebook post that he walked into Woolworths and saw his socks. Only they weren't his socks. It was his design altered ever so slightly with a minor change in colour.
According to Hutchison's post, it was one of his original, iconic, designs from the really early days and it was a top seller for years.
Included in the Facebook post was a photo of a pair of Woolworths socks featuring a bicycle design. According to the label on the socks, the socks were made from a bamboo blend.
The second photo in the Facebook post feature Sexy Socks' socks with a similar bicycle design.
It should be noted that all Sexy Socks are made from bamboo fibres.
Woolworths has denied any allegation that they copied Sexy Socks' bicycle design or the bamboo material used.
A Woolworths spokesperson told Business InsiderSA that bicycles are an international design trend used by fashion houses, designers and retailers all over the world.
Woolworths said that bicycle designs were first used on boxers in 2015 and due to its success has since been used on T-shirts, socks and trunks.
According to the retailer, bamboo textiles have also been used in its towels, shirts, trousers, jackets and socks since 2005 due to it sustainability attributes.
Woolworths said that they remain deeply committed to the development of small business in South Africa.
@WOOLWORTHS_SA Really — Again! Remember the hummingbird cushion. #Woolworths steals a design again! Shame on you Woolworths! Sexy Socks owner claims Woolworths stole design - but the retailer is fighting back https://t.co/x8zrrXxY0g— Deevra Norling (@DeevraNorling) July 2, 2019
Serial patent thief #Woolworths in recent times! In fact, it is NO different from sickness suffered by govt directors in particular and other officials who steal people' ideas!— The Dominion (@TebSebekedi) July 3, 2019
Woolworths denies accusations of 'copying' local sock design https://t.co/PFOb6E2mWX
I love #woolworths but can they just stop stealing other people's intellectual property? I mean they are one of our biggest local brands so surely they should have access to sufficient creative people to come up with original concepts and designs?! Disappointed. https://t.co/IPId61zprv— Jamey Du Plessis (@JameyDuPlessis) July 2, 2019
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