Fuming woman says Aldi has made cheap copy of £100 item she spent years creating

The owner of a small business has slammed Aldi for selling a picnic rug she says is "inspired" by her boutique range.

Sharnee Thorpe, who launched Wandering Folk in December 2015, claimed customers spotted the cheaper "dupes" and informed her, leaving her on the verge of tears.

Her best-selling picnic rugs feature hand-drawn designs and sell in Australia for AUD $190 (£100) but the new Aldi rugs are on the market for just $49.99 (£26.50).

In an emotional video, she says: "After seven years of blood, sweat, and tears, this really does break my heart.

"Aldi has released a picnic rug that looks to be inspired by Wandering Folk.

"Sadly there is nothing we can do except educate everyone on always supporting creatives."

The Wandering Folk and Aldi picnic rugs have several details in common, such as a woven carry strap and tassels on each corner.

On the flip side, the prints are not like-for-like in the examples Sharnee shows, although they are both floral and vintage-inspired with a border.

She adds: "Big retailers will always seek out boutique brands to follow and I just want to remind you all that creatives behind brands work so hard to bring their idea to life and it really is like a stab to the heart when you see this happen.

"Thank you to our amazing community for your support and showing how much you care about our brand, it really does mean the world to us."

An Aldi spokeswoman told news.com.au that it has received correspondence from Wandering Folk.

"We will definitely review any correspondence that is shared with our business and will respond accordingly," she said.

Aldi recently warred with Marks and Spencer over its Cuthbert the Caterpillar cakes – similar to Colin the Caterpillar – and the retailers agreed on a settlement.

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