Keep proper journalism alive. It's time to Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Dutty v. (Goliath) Dutti


Bristol bred clothing shop loses court case to Spanish mega brand and is made to rebrand.

Dutty, an independent business set up in Bristol that has made a name for itself in the fashion industry beyond the city, has suffered a court case defeat at the hands of heavyweight multinational brand Massimo Dutti.

After developing the business locally for 14 years, the founders of the Bristol based clothing shop intended to register their brand in order to expand their activity. Dutty’s attempt at trademarking its brand was challenged by Massimo Dutti back in 2013

Seemingly threatened by the arrival of a ‘competitor’, Massimo Dutti argued that Dutty had attempted to build their brand off its own reputation. Seeing no alternative, the owners of Dutty decided to take the issue to court. “We basically had to decide whether to go to court and oppose (their challenge), or fold” says Louisa, one of the co-founders. Joh, the other co-founder emphasises that “the case escalated pretty quickly.”

After an unexpected crash course in standing up to a multinational company and two years of a legal struggle, Dutty incurred costs in excess of £15,000. The ruling orders that all of the current products on sale and promotional platforms be disappeared, forcing the small business into rebranding. Massimo Dutti declined to answer questions regarding costs of their legal procedures, legal grounds for initial challenge and outcome of the ruling.

Massimo Dutti is a trading name for a company that operates 686 stores in 66 countries with an annual revenue of 1.4bn. The company is part of a conglomerate of clothing brands, alongside Zara and Bershka, and is fully owned by the Inditex group. The latter is estimated to turn over a profit of 521m in 2015. One of its founders, Amancio Ortega Gaona, was also ranked fourth richest person in the world in Forbes’ 2015 list.

The consequences for this Bristol based business are shattering. Together with financial and brand losses, it’s also its conviction to provide an alternative to the multinational retailer dominance that is being dealt a blow.

Dutty’s stated objectives are to provide custom design pieces of clothing to compete with the high street by proposing an affordable price for something different to the mass produced consumer culture. Dutty’s merchandise is influenced by Bristol’s club culture, an increasingly popular phenomenon stemming from the city’s underground music scene.

Dutty currently offers a platform for over 30 independent designers to sell their work. Asked about the significance of Dutty, designer Nicki Silvanus from House of Junk, recognised “their involvement in the fashion community and an inspiration to younger entrepreneurs including ourselves.”


For more information about Dutty’s renewal see here.

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?

Related content

Watch: Why you should back the Cable – in 60 seconds

A breakdown of all the things we've managed to achieve for Bristol in almost a decade of reporting.

We’re working to diversify the Cable team. Let’s start with our freelancer base

The Cable exists to challenge the structure of the media, but we are not representative enough of our city. Here’s what we’re doing to change things.

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Jos Clark on ‘bloody rude’ Marvin, looming Labour thrashing and Lib Dem comeback

The experienced local councillor, who is a strong critic of Marvin Rees and the mayoral system, talks libraries, Bristol's failing bus services and her prediction that Labour will take a kicking after eight years in power.

‘He was our godfather’: Bristol musicians remember Mark Stewart

It’s a year since the Pop Group singer, a revered figure of the post-punk era, died aged 62. Beyond the uncompromising legacy of his own releases, his influence remains etched into his home city’s musical DNA.

As Labour and the Greens battle it out, how do their policies stack up?

Labour and the Greens are likely to be the two largest parties after Bristol’s local elections on 2 May, so we decided to delve beneath the rhetoric to see what they’d actually change.

How St Paul’s residents fought to make the Malcolm X Centre a space for the community

The Malcolm X Centre on Ashley Road is one of Bristol’s most well-known and treasured community venues. What’s less well remembered is the struggle local people went through to lay the foundations for that status.

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Labour’s Tom Renhard on building new homes, his fast rise to party leader and why the Greens aren’t ready for power

Labour will be trying to hold onto power after eight years of running the city. Local leader Tom Renhard says the Greens, Labour's main competition, won't be able to step up and make big decisions.

Love local news as much as we do? We’re seeking Patrons

We've been offered a bonus grant of £40,000 if we’re able to increase our membership income by £60,000. Patrons are the make or break factor in whether we succeed.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning