A major New Zealand-based fitness and protein brand has been accused of "blatantly ripping off" the towel design of a competing brand.
Luxe Fitness, known for its protein powders often touted by fitness influencers, shared a post on Instagram last month promoting its 'Riley bundle', featuring "all new products".
But commenters were quick to point out that one of those products - a pink microfibre gym towel branded with the name of the business - was almost the exact same design as the towels produced by smaller local company Mondays.
Kiwi woman Emma Mail is the founder of Mondays, a "stylish and practical" waffle weaved microfibre towel with a pocket to keep your phone and keys when working out.
Host of the Edge morning radio show Megan Annear was one of the first to comment, saying Luxe's new towel design was "exactly the same" as the Kiwi business. "This ain't it," she added, with a thumbs down emoji.
"Get a new creative team that doesn't just rip off other small businesses," another commenter wrote.
"Mondays at least deserves credit for the gym towel! Get your own ideas - I'm actually disgusted," another commenter wrote.
In a statement, Mondays founder Emma Mail said she didn't understand why a fellow New Zealand brand would "blatantly rip off my design especially at a time like this where we should be supporting one another".
"[Luxe] you wanted a waffle towel with zips that looks exactly like mine - why not reach out for a [collaberation]?"
Mail said she's a "one-woman business".
"I have designed EVERY element of this towel to perfection based on extensive research and investment. This product is not only high quality and beautiful; it is functional."
Mail said she "expected more from another New Zealand business and am frankly hurt".
"Success in business should be earnt with hard work, integrity and honesty. Can you [Luxe fitness] if asked, answer that you hold these values in your business' success?".
At the time of publishing, Luxe Fitness hadn't removed the post which included their version of the microfibre towel but apologised individually to commenters who were offended.
"We're so sorry to have upset people," the company's comments read.
"We really apologise for this. We originally saw a similar idea on a manufactures website overseas and thought it was an awesome way to make a sweat towel really functional!
"Our intentions weren't to copy someone else's design and we're so sorry that it has come across this way."
The company also noted that while it intended to continue with the promotion, it wouldn't be selling the towel on an ongoing basis.
Luxe Fitness has been approached by Newshub for comment.