Monday, 20 September 2010

This just burns my biscuits ...

It really makes me mad. I was a textile designer a million years ago, pre pickles. I honestly have to say that the fashion industry world wide is a den of thieves. It survives on stealing and dishonesty. I know, I experienced it first hand. I could bore you all with a billion stories about stuff I was asked to knock off and my own work that was stolen. I am preparing a couple of ranges for my own pleasure and I might send them out. I did with a wee mini range a little while back. I was reluctant to post pics here in the blog, because I had visions of it appearing somewhere else without my knowledge.

So imagine my surprise and anger today when I was reading one of my favourite blogs.

I love Tula Pink's fabrics. Her range Plume was a particular favourite of mine. So imagine my surprise to see this lovely lovely range had been completely knocked off by one of the biggest chain stores in the US and UK. Walmart has blatantly stolen the intellectual property of Tula, and sold it in their stores. What every you do, if you see these knock offs in your local Walmart ... please please leave them be. Tula Pink hasn't got a red cent from this, as her work was pirated. Here are the pictures of the offending articles. Its really easy to tell the difference in quality but also how close the knock offs are.

As a textile designer, I was asked to "copy" work all the time. There have been murmurs that Walmart may not have known but they would have bought from a middleman or woman. That's true but a lot of the time, really big clients tell their vendours what they want and provide "samples" to show them. So, I have posted a complaint on the Below is a copy of the letter I posted to the Walmarts Ethics site. I raised an issue with the CEO, the HQ is in Arkansas.

Yup, I'm ticked.

Dear Walmart.

While it is great that your company has a special site for behaving in an ethical way and addressing ethics issues, its not great that it is all for show and not a premise practiced by the company. It appears that your company endorses and encourages theft on a particularly grade scale with a great deal of arrogance about consequences. Why would any consumer want to shop, or support a company such as yours if this is the case?

I am speaking directly the theft of intellectual property owned by TULA PINK tm. Her designs are well loved amongst the quilting and sewing community across the planet. Earlier this year she along with the well known Moda fabric company, released a ranged entitled "Plume". It was a lovely range featuring lots of feathers and birds. Yet today, we all found out that Walmart has just released a direct knock off of her range. Its an exact copy.

This is utterly outrageous and the CEO of this company needs to answer me on why stealing is encouraged, and released into stores across the US.

I refer your office to the following website:

There, you will be able to see the knocks off and the originals side by side.

the following website:

Is the moda site where right down the Bottom of the page, you will see listed under "January", pdfs of the "plume" range that can be downloaded and viewed in entirety and apparently, to be made available to walmart to steal at will.

I will be blogging about this on my blog (, and there will be others who follow suit. I will be reprinting this letter there, and passing this letter on to MS Pink. It's only fair for her to know that there are others out there who are outraged by this blatant piece of corporate piracy.

Its appaling to think that Walmart has made a call on what it feels it has the right to do. Which ever way you look at it, theft is theft. And your company makes a lot of money from it. Shame on you.

Jo Ellem


  1. Well done. It is utterly disgraceful and I hope Tula Pink gets a quick and satisfactory resolution.

  2. Well said! I was so ticked too.


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