In 2019, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. celebrated five years of partnership with Fair Trade USA. We became the first home retailer to join them in 2014, when West Elm began working with one factory in India and about 200 workers to achieve Fair Trade Certification™. By the end of 2019, our family of brands had contributed over $3.6 million in Fair Trade premiums, impacting the lives of over 13,000 workers spread among 16 factories in five countries.
In 2020, over 10,000 Fair Trade Certified™ products are sold across our brands—from furniture and rugs at Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids to coffee at Williams Sonoma to best-selling collections at West Elm. But the real story is about more than just SKUs—it’s one of direct connection between our customers and the people who make their products.
What Our Customers Are Saying@yesicalhdz on Instagram
“@potterybarn Yesss to fair trade!!!”
Today’s customers want brands to align with their values, and it’s important to them that workers are treated fairly. Fair Trade’s consumer research has shown that 58% of customers are “more likely to try products or services” from a brand that works with Fair Trade. Among millennials, that number jumps to 75% who agree that Fair Trade Certification is important in their decision to purchase an item.
When customers buy a Fair Trade Certified™ product, they’re directly improving livelihoods and empowering workers to invest in their communities. Premiums are pooled into a community development fund for each factory. Workers decide how to invest those funds—programs funded by premiums have included health insurance, sanitation kits, subsidized food, education and disaster relief. In China, Fair Trade premiums helped pay for a two-week educational camp that reunited migrant factory workers with their children during the summer. In Pakistan, one of our Fair Trade Certified™ factories funded a health care clinic that now serves 20,000 people and sees 80 to 90 patients a day. In India, premiums helped establish a Fair Price Shop that subsidizes food for workers.
What Our Customers Are Saying@thewanderingcaliyogi on Instagram
“@west elm Thank you for carrying so many #fairtradecertified products.”
Fair Trade Certification involves a rigorous, third-party process and a significant commitment of time and energy for our brands and vendors, but it leads to stronger relationships with suppliers, workers and customers. We’re grateful to everyone who has purchased Fair Trade Certified™ products. Your choice makes a difference in the daily lives of workers.
Hero Image: West Elm