Because we support handmade, we felt a responsibility to the handmade community to chime in on the Urban Outrage subject.

A small, independent designer creates a design. A large corporation takes the design and mass produces it. The small, independent lacks marketing and promotion budgets. The large corporation has multiple retail outlets on a global scale and a comparatively large marketing budget. Let's say for arguments sake - and because it's a common theme to develop and gain inspiration from other designs and influences - that that design is informed by other influences and designs. Possibly the design is not uniquely the small, independent's own. Does this mean it's open season? Can any large corporation/company grab whatever design is out there, just because there is no way to legally prove and defend the origin?

Corporate/Company Social Responsibility (CSR) can be seen as separate from a Company's legal responsibilities. Just because something is legal to do, does not make it the moral thing to do. If the only guidelines of a company's are legal, then we might - as consumers, and general members of society - question whether that company's position within the marketplace is valid. Just because you can, doesn't mean you do. Just because others have recreated a specific design, does not justify a large Company's actions. 12 wrongs still don't make a right. This is not a level playing field; a multi-national corporation is not operating on the same plane as a small independent.

Oh, and the token, small number of independents that the corporation supports by offering shelf space, does not wipe it's hands clean. And the assertion that your reply is in defense of those few independents is PR spin; it's really about damage control for the corporation's face.


Since we posted this we want to clarify our issue. We don't condone the copying and selling of anyone's work (independent or corporate) - what we're saying is this company at issue here is stating it's a non-issue (basically) in their response statement.

There have been claims for years that this company and it's subsidiaries are well-known for copying independant artist's work (or buying copied work - made in China products) and re-selling them in their stores (see a few examples here , here and here). With their recent debaucle, and their response to it, we question their ethics and validity in the marketplace. And because we represent many independent artists online, we feel we have a responsibility to say something as a part of that community and not let this go as a "non-issue".

A few other's have chimed in online, and I'd like to direct you to Aesthetic Outburst. Abbey perfectly sums up how we feel. Click here to read.

Also read more over at Wolfie and the Sneak, Renee also wrote about this subject earlier this year a couple times here and here.

And Renee's newest post here.


If you don't know what we're talking about, here's the history:

Read this in order:


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