Fashion designer Katharine Hamnett and supermarket giant Tesco are to go their separate ways after a very public row over an organic clothing range sold by the retailer.

Hamnett, who was signed up by Tesco in 2006 to create an environmental organic cotton collection, wants to end a deal after questioning the retailer's commitment to the line.

The designer claims the retailer has broken promises to roll out and promote the 'Choose Love' organic and fair trade range, and that "the merchandising is practically non-existent."

In an interview with trade magazine Drapers, Hamnett says: "I was initially really excited about the tie-up because I thought we could increase demand for ethical products.

"But I've come to the conclusion that [Tesco] simply wants to appear ethical, rather than make a full commitment to the range. Choose Love is only available in 40 stores and the merchandising is practically non-existent."

However, a Tesco spokesperson contacted by just-style today suggests poor sales of the range might be behind her decision.

"The range Katherine developed got us off the ground but it is our own brand organic and fairtrade lines - from underwear to school uniforms - which have proved more successful this year.

"It is perhaps the success of these new lines that is behind the disappointment Katherine feels about the products carrying her label."

The spokesperson added: "We are 100% behind growing the market for ethical clothing."
 
The range was rolled out a year ago as part of a roster of 'green' pledges made by the supermarket giant.

Other initiatives included plans to spend more than GBP500m (US$985.90m) on slashing prices on energy-efficient goods and cutting down on pollution.

Hamnett's contract with Tesco is due to be renewed next year but she is already looking for a new partner.