After receiving backlash from many angry South Africans, retail giant Woolworths has made the decision to give away several Ubuntu Baba baby carriers to the under-resourced communities who really need them.
Woolworths got landed in hot water when blogger and Ubuntu Baba founder Shannon McLaughlin called the company out for “copying” her when she saw the uncanny similarities between her baby carriers and those sold for much lower prices at Woolworths outlets and the company’s online store earlier this month.
Woolworths met with McLaughlin to discuss the claims that it stole the idea and designs of her baby carriers. “We met with Ubuntu Baba today and have completed our investigation into the allegations of copying,” a communication from Woolworths’ press office stated soon after the meeting took place. “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 decision by Woolworths to give its carriers away was also made just after the meeting concluded.
“I am just glad that they also admitted to having ordered our baby carriers to source inspiration. We also agreed that Woolworths would repackage and remove their branding before actually donating the carriers,” McLaughlin said to TimesLIVE.
“Our suppliers bought a number of baby carriers, including the Ubuntu Baba carrier, from which to get inspiration and create our latest product. Our designers also drew on and learned from previous iterations of our own baby carrier that we have been stocking since 2011,” Woolworths said in a statement.
Picture: Ubuntu Baba