SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM) the world’s largest digital-first, design-led and sustainable home retailer, announced new investments in purchases of Nest Ethical Handcraft product and a commitment to double investments in Fair Trade USA® programs by 2025. As the first retailer to set such an ambitious goal, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. continues to lead the home furnishings industry on sustainability goals and reporting on progress by partnering with independent third-party partners like Nest and Fair Trade USA. These key partnerships will help facilitate the company’s pledge of having 75% of all products meet one or more of Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s social and environmental initiatives by 2030 – a commitment that represents $1B in product purchases annually.
“We invest in programs that positively impact the people that make our products and the communities where we source our products from,” said Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. ‘Our work with partners like Nest and Fair Trade help support a resilient, sustainable supply chain that delivers concrete business value.”
Since 2014, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has partnered with Fair Trade USA and Nest to bring best-in-class standards to WSI’s supply chain, ensuring the highest degree of ethical production both inside and outside of WSI factories. WSI became the first home retailer to offer Fair Trade Certified™ products with the launch of one rug factory in India and today, WSI works with 17 Fair Trade Certified factories in five countries, impacting nearly 16,000 workers.
With the addition of a new commitment to double Fair Trade Premiums by 2025, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. will have paid nearly $20M in Fair Trade Premiums since the partnership began in 2014 allowing WSI to positively impact the workers and the communities in which the company does business. For every Fair Trade Certified product sold, WSI pays a Premium that goes directly back to workers who collectively decide how to spend the funds to improve the lives of themselves and their communities. Workers have invested premium funds in solar panels in homes to create light for their children to study by, provided bulk purchase food staples and PPE to support workers during COVID-19, built a clinic to provide health services to the broader community, and more.
“This type of commitment at scale is exactly the kind of leadership we need right now – for workers, for the environment, and for conscious consumers who demand responsibility from brands today,” said Paul Rice, Founder & CEO of Fair Trade USA. “We are pleased to see WSI take its commitment to responsible sourcing to the next level and excited at the added impact it will create for producers.”
WSI’s partnership with Nest also began in 2014 by partnering on the development of the Seal of Ethical Handcraft to ensure ethical production in handcraft supply chains. Four years later, WSI became the first ever retailer to offer product with the Nest Seal and today WSI offers over 400 ethically handcrafted products across our family of brands. These products are made in partnership with eight suppliers who have earned the Nest Seal of Ethical Handcraft in four countries, impacting the lives of over 3,600 global artisans.
“Since we began our partnership in 2014, WSI has demonstrated a deep commitment to protecting workers throughout their supply chains – including the homeworkers and handworkers who create handcrafted product at scale,” shared Rebecca van Bergen, Nest’s Founder & Executive Director. “By playing a pivotal role in the launch of the Ethical Handcraft program, WSI has both impacted the lives of thousands of handworkers in their own supply chains, as well as over 45,000 handworkers that we’ve reached through the program to date.”
Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s new commitments to Nest and Fair Trade USA reflect the company’s goal to build an innovative model of responsible business that celebrates conscious consumerism and a shared value to eliminate poverty and enable sustainable development for workers, farmers, their families and their communities around the world.
For more information on Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s ESG efforts, please visit:
ABOUT WILLIAMS-SONOMA, INC.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is the world’s largest digital-first, design-led and sustainable home retailer. The company’s products, representing distinct merchandise strategies — Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, West Elm, Williams Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation, and Mark and Graham — are marketed through e-commerce websites, direct-mail catalogs and retail stores. These brands are also part of The Key Rewards, our free-to-join loyalty program that offers members exclusive benefits across the Williams-Sonoma family of brands. We operate in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, offer international shipping to customers worldwide, and have unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in the Middle East, the Philippines, Mexico, South Korea and India, as well as e-commerce websites in certain locations. We are also proud to lead the industry with our Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) efforts. Our company is Good By Design — we’ve deeply engrained sustainability into our business. From our factories to your home, we’re united in a shared purpose to care for our people and our planet.
ABOUT FAIR TRADE USA
Fair Trade USA is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn additional money to improve its communities. Winner of Fast Company’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award and recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation, and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also helps brands and retailers tell their stories of impact and educate consumers about the power of their purchase. The Fair Trade Certified seal represents thousands of products, improving millions of lives, protecting land and waterways in 62 countries and counting. Purchases have sent $846 million to farmers and workers since 1999.
Nest is a non-profit 501(c)(3) supporting the responsible growth and creative engagement of the artisan & maker economy to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion. Through programs that support the wellbeing of artisans both in the United States and globally, Nest brings radical transparency and opportunity to the informal handworker economy.
Nest’s Standards for Homes and Small Workshops are the first widely-adopted metrics for determining accountability and transparency in informal supply chains. To recognize business’ commitment to ethical handcraft production and meeting the Nest Standards, Nest launched the Nest Seal of Ethical Handcraft which can be found on over 2,000 consumer products, including 400 products at Williams-Sonoma, Inc.