October 12, 2017

West Elm & Williams-Sonoma Expand Fair Trade Commitment

West Elm and Williams-Sonoma are expanding their responsible retail commitments to include a goal of giving $3 million towards Fair Trade Community Development by 2020.

by New York Spaces

West Elm Fair Trade
The Multi Pixel Woven Rug was handwoven by Craftmark-certified artisans
in India using yarns of varied texture and color.

West Elm is leading the commitment to fair trade as the first international home furnishings retailer to partner with Fair Trade USA in 2014. Now, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma, the parent company, are expanding their responsible retail commitments to include a goal of giving $3 million towards Fair Trade Community Development by 2020. To showcase their dedication, West Elm has also partnered with Vietnam's first-eve Fair Trade furniture factory, which brings company's total operating Fair Trade factory count to 11 in countries across the world including Nepal, India, and Pakistan.

While consumers are increasingly making smart purchases, that are based on social and environmental impacts, West Elm is furthering this idea by partnering with vendors in their commitment. Fair Trade allows makers to realize economic empowerment in global communities, and improve quality of life. Factories that participate in Fair Trade must abide by rigorous social and environmental practices and offer workers additional money for every single purchase. At this point in time, West Elm has introduced 4,500 Fair Trade products.

West Elm
Shop for Change at West Elm.

"We are passionate about using great design to further the economic empowerment of our artists and makers both in the U.S. and abroad. Our goal is to continue to drive meaningful social, economic and ethical reform within the retail industry, while creating a lasting, positive impact in the lives of the people behind our products," said Alex Bellos, President of West Elm. "Our Fair Trade efforts have grown from impacting fewer than 200 workers in 2014 to making a meaningful contribution to the lives of more than 5,000 workers today. The results continue to motivate us every day to help educate and encourage our customers to do more."

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