JOHANNESBURG – Retail giant Woolworths is pulling baby carriers that resemble those designed by a Cape Town entrepreneur off its shelves and has invited customers to return the product for a full refund after mounting pressure on social media.
The JSE-listed company yesterday also acknowledged striking similarities with the product and apologised to both its customers and to Ubuntu Baba owner Shannon McLaughlin.
In a statement, Woolworths said it had met with McLaughlin and had completed an investigation into the alleged copy of the design and pattern.
“While there are differences in our baby carrier, there are striking similarities, which we acknowledge and take responsibility for. This is not in line with our values and goes against the very clear policy and creative guidelines we have in place for our design process,” the company said.
It said it was addressing this lapse in process internally, and said it was intensifying and strengthening the training of its employees, suppliers and partners on its "values-based approach to the design and sourcing process’’.