West Elm & Williams-Sonoma, Inc., First International Home Retailer to Partner with Fair Trade USA, Expand Commitment to $3 Million in Premiums by 2020
Partners with first-ever Fair Trade Certified furniture factory in Vietnam, for total of 11 Fair Trade factories across Nepal, India, Pakistan
As the first international home furnishings retailer to partner with Fair Trade USA in 2014, West Elm and parent company Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM) today announced plans to expand upon their responsible retail commitments to include a goal to pay premiums of $3 million towards Fair Trade Community Development by 2020. The company also announced that it has partnered with Vietnam’s first-ever Fair Trade furniture factory, bringing its total operating Fair Trade factory count to 11 in countries including Nepal, India and Pakistan.
Consumers are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on social and environmental impacts. West Elm believes that the vendors it partners with can lead to positive change, and as such has committed that 40 percent of its product will be Fair Trade Certified™ by 2020. One of the most important aspects of Fair Trade is its ability to help realize economic empowerment in global communities and improve artisans’ and workers’ quality of life. Not only must factories meet rigorous social and environmental criteria, but workers also earn additional money (called Community Development Premiums) with every single Fair Trade purchase. Workers vote on how to spend these funds to address pressing needs in their community. Toward these goals, 4,500 Fair Trade products have been introduced as part of West Elm’s 2017 assortment of furniture, decorative accessories and rugs.