What happens if you suspect that a big retailer like Woolworths has stolen your idea? This is what Ubuntu Baba Carrier founder Shannon McLaughlin is alleging.
She says that Woolworths has shamelessly copied the complete design and concept of the baby carrier and has blogged an article explaining.
I put my heart and soul into for the last four years of my life.— Shannon McLaughlin, Ubuntu Baba Carrier founder
Mid-December I got a screenshot from one of the girls that work for me and she said Shannon have you seen this? I didn't realise how hectic it was because all I saw, to begin with, is that they had used my name and my colours and that they kind of looked similar.— Shannon McLaughlin, Ubuntu Baba Carrier founder
She says though she drew inspiration from other baby carriers, she added her own unique touch to her designs.
If you took my carrier and put it up against every brand I took inspiration from, you will see a huge difference because the reason I took all seven carriers to my dad's factory is I loved the element of babywearing and how much it helped me and I threw elements from all these other carriers. I think if you look at all the similarities with what Woolworths has on their shelves and what I am selling on my online shop, there are just too many similarities.— Shannon McLaughlin, Founder at Ubuntu Baba Carrier
McLaughlin says two of her products were purchased and delivered to Woolworth's head office.
It just happens to be that when we checked their names, one of the women that bought was a sourcing administrator and the other one was a product developer.— Shannon McLaughlin, Founder at Ubuntu Baba Carrier
Many customers have left comments on the Woolworths Facebook page criticising the store.
She adds that she reported the matter to Woolworths and has not received a response from them. Woolworths responded to queries from the 702 Breakfast Show that it take issues like this seriously and is investigating the matter.
Listen below to the full interview: