PRESIDENT CLINTON VISITS WEST ELM AND TOURS ARTISAN WORK

President Bill Clinton with West Elm President Jim Brett at the West Elm Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York (Photo: Business Wire)

“I am grateful for the impact that West Elm’s CGI commitment is having all around the world,” said President Clinton. “Not only is West Elm supporting the creation of good, sustainable jobs, but they’re also ensuring that the tradition of important crafts such as textiles, pottery and papier-mch find new markets.”

“Consciousness is not a short term initiative for West Elm, it is a core part of our business strategy,” said Brett. “We are at a tipping point in consumer demand for transparency, and West Elm is leading the way in the home industry.” Brett joined West Elm in 2010 and made commitments to supply chain transparency and artisan partnerships. Under his leadership, the brand has reported 17 consecutive quarters of double digit comparable brand revenue growth, proving that, “Doing good is not just our responsibility, it’s good business.”

“West Elm really respects our process, our needs, and our challenges in growing an artisan business,” said Theresa Kabigting, Marketing Director of Asia Ceramics, one of West Elm’s artisan partners. “They are a true partner and are helping us bring back traditional craft techniques and elevate craft employment in our country.”

In partnership with its largest rug supplier, Raj Overseas, West Elm has established the first Fair Trade Certified factory for handcrafted rugs in India. Fair Trade certification ensures that the rugs are made in safe working conditions and that workers are justly compensated, delivering a premium back to the worker to invest in causes of their choice. Employees at the West Elm Fair Trade factory have chosen to fund additional health care coverage. Fair Trade Certified rugs will be available this holiday season at West Elm retail locations and on westelm.com.

Additional projects and progress under West Elm’s consciousness initiatives and CGI Commitment to Action include:

– West Elm is building a network of artisan makers and currently working with more than 35 artisan groups in 15 countries. Over half of the artisans West Elm works with are women. The brand makes long-term commitments of 3-5 years to each maker.

Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. It audits and certifies transactions between companies and their international suppliers to ensure adherence to the rigorous Fair Trade standards. Fair Trade USA also educates consumers and provides farming communities with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit FairTradeCertified.org for more information.