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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

West Elm: Caring For The Planet; Caring For People

Actor and environmentalist Adrian Grenier purchased his Brooklyn brownstone four years ago with the goal to build a one-of-a-kind, fully eco-conscious smart home. The New York native was highly involved in the renovation and tapped Brooklyn-based retailer West Elm to furnish the space with its original, responsibly-sourced designs.

Outfitted in West Elm’s original, modern furnishings and décor, with interior design by Dream Awake, Adrian’s home is completely shoppable on WestElm.com/AdrianGrenier, inspiring customers to shop for high quality products that look good and make a positive impact on their homes and the environment.

Founded in Brooklyn in 2002, West Elm offers a unique line of home décor products that are ethically sourced and Fair Trade Certified. With more than 100 stores worldwide, West Elm is one of several Williams-Sonoma brands, which also include Pottery Barn, Rejuvenation and Mark & Graham. The company offers sustainably sourced, handcrafted and locally produced goods, designing nearly 100 percent of their merchandise in the U.S. in their Brooklyn studios. 

Sustainability Initiatives

Today, 60 percent of their sales support their sustainability initiatives. According to a recent press release from the company, “Today, more than half of West Elm’s original, modern designs support at least one sustainability initiative, including Organic, Sustainably Sourced, Fair Trade, LOCAL, Certified Nontoxic and Handcrafted.”

Caring for the planet is at the forefront of everything they do, with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2025. West Elm uses recycled and upcycled materials in their products whenever possible to cut down on waste. More than 50 percent of their wood furniture isFSC® certified. In 2019, the company contributed to saving more than two billion liters of water (528 million gallons) by sourcing organic cotton for bedding and other textiles. In addition, through their partnership with REPREVE, they leverage the use of high-quality certified fiber produced from recycled plastic bottles. By using REPREVE recycled polyester fiber in their products, West Elm has contributed to diverting 66 million plastic bottles from landfills.

Due to their environmental focus and efforts, West Elm is the most sustainable home furnishings retailer — the only home retailer on Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies list for the past four years.

West Elm’s actions speak louder than words. “We look to leading authorities in sustainable sourcing, ethical design, responsible manufacturing and work to meet their standards. When we make a claim, you know we can back it up.”

West Elm is proud of their achievements. They are using design to do good in these key areas.

  • Handcrafted
    Preserves craft traditions around the world, supporting local economies and helping artisan groups scale their business.
  • Fair Trade
    Means certified by Fair Trade USA to ensure factory workers are safe in their workplaces and receive fair wages. The company is committed to community investment and long-term economic support.
  • Organic
    Refers to GOTS or Global Organic Textile Standard-certified cotton, so you know it’s made without the use of pesticides, insecticides or intensive irrigation.
  • Sustainably Sourced
    Means responsibly sourced using FSC®-certified wood or reclaimed, recycled or upcycled materials and less waste.
  • Certified Nontoxic
    Refers to products guaranteed to be safe from harmful chemicals, so you can create a safe and healthy home.
  • Local
    Means made by makers and designers right in your own backyard — and helping their small businesses grow!
  • Contract Grade
    Is built to meet ANSI and BIFMA standards for extra durability and to hold up to general commercial use.
  • Assembled in the USA
    Pieces are hand assembled at our U.S. factories by skilled furniture makers, ensuring top-notch quality.

Fair Trade

West Elm was the first home retailer to join Fair Trade USA, a leading market-based model of sustainable production, trade and consumption. Fair Trade’s mission is to alleviate global poverty and promote sustainable development. To date, Williams-Sonoma has invested over $7 million in Fair Trade premiums across its entire family of brands, which workers can then invest in community needs such as commuter bicycles, hot lunches and hygiene kits.

The Old Truck Collection

In September, 2021, West Elm launched a brand-new initiative partnering with the authors of the children’s book “The Old Truck” by siblings Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. The collection includes more than 250 handmade stamps made by the authors. The stamps served as inspiration for the West Elm in-house design team to create a modern, gender-neutral collection of sustainably sourced bedding and BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton textiles. 

The collection features products that are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, organic and Fair Trade certified. With GREENGUARD Gold certification, the products are screened for 100,000 chemicals and VOCs to help ensure safety.

Not only does the company partner with other large businesses and TV personalities, but they also advocate for small businesses. Collectively, they have invested over $13 million in small American-made businesses in recent years. 

In addition, West Elm has partnered with several nonprofits such as the NAACP, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and Fifteen Percent Pledge to give back. 

For more information, visit westelm.com.


  1. West Elm is not longer a trusted company!!!! Be aware!!! It is dishonest to sell a furniture with a delivery date that they know that it is not true. West Elm don’t have enough furniture to supply their clients and are keeping selling furniture that they don’t have available. They are providing false estimates of delivery times to keep clients buying their furniture and shipped several months ( 6-12 months) after their original estimated time. It is very sad to see companies well established like West Elm participating in this dishonest scheme. At this point, I’m willing to cancel my order, but their policies do not allowed it. There should be many West Elm clients that are in the same position that I am, I wish there is something that we can do against this type of scams.


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