A SMALL business is taking on an internet giant it claims has copied one of its designs.

Hove fashion company Ellie Ellie has got into a brouhaha with online fashion store Boohoo.com over a Christmas jumper.

The Hove company’s best selling pullover appears to have taken on a new lease of life after a virtually identical design appeared for sale on the major online fashion store.

Founder and managing director of Ellie Ellie Danielle Plowman saw what she sees as an unofficial impersonation.

She said: “They do say imitation is the highest form of flattery.

“So it’s great that Boohoo.com loved our design so much they wanted to copy it. But it’s completely unacceptable that a company as big as Boohoo.com have stolen a design from a small independent company in order to make a financial profit.”

The Ellie Ellie sweatshirt design went on sale last year and was a big seller for the company, which is based near Hove station at Fonthill Road.

At the weekend one of the 12 members of staff who work at the company spotted the almost identical design on Boohoo.com for around half the price of theirs.

Danielle sent Boohoo a letter demanding they “cease and desist” selling their sweater and it is no longer listed on the website. However they have received no response from the firm.

Boohoo claim to “design, source, market and sell own brand clothing, shoes and accessories through the www.boohoo.com website to 16-24 year olds in the UK and globally.

It has around 4.5 million customers and last month announced it had more than doubled its profits during the last year and made £14.4m profit in the six months to August 31. The Argus tried to contact BooHoo.com but received no reply.