Our Commitments

Responsible Retail Glossary

Everything we do at west elm is designed to make an impact, and it all starts with our products. This glossary walks you through what's behind our commitments to Fair Trade, organic, handcrafted and sustainably-sourced products.

Our Icons

  • HANDCRAFTED

    From handwoven rugs to hand-blown glass, our handcrafted products are sourced from a network of over 5,000 makers worldwide.

  • Fair Trade

    In 2014, west elm became the first-ever home retailer to join the Fair Trade USA Network and today we offer a selection of Fair Trade Certified™ rugs, bedding, furniture and décor.

  • Organic

    Organic fabrics are better for our bodies and the environment. Our organic textiles are certified to the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) and the Organic Cotton Standard (OCS).

  • SUSTAINABLY SOURCED

    Items with this icon contain sustainable materials, such as wood certified to FSC® standards, to help make your home a little greener each day.

  • Local

    Launched in 2013, west elm LOCAL is a hand-picked collection of one-of-a-kind goods from makers who live, work + create right in your backyard.

Definitions

  • Craftmark

    Craftmark is a nonprofit in India that certifies and preserves traditional Indian craft techniques, like weaving and embroidery.

  • Global Recycled Standard (GRS)

    Products certified to the Global Recycled Standards directly support resource conservation.

  • GOTS

    Items listed as certified to the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) are made with at least 70% organic fiber, high environmental standards in the product process, and restricted chemicals in finished goods.

  • Fair Trade Certified™ Facility

    To become Fair Trade Certified (FTC), a factory undergoes a rigorous 12-stage process verifying its safe working conditions, fair wages, environmental standards and hundreds of other criteria.

  • Fair Trade Premium

    For every Fair Trade product sold, west elm pays a premium back to the worker committee to collectively invest in projects of their choice.

  • Fair Trade USA

    west elm joined the Fair Trade USA network in 2014. We work directly with the network to help our factories meet the necessary certification requirements to identify products as "Fair Trade Certified."

  • Found (aka Reclaimed)

    100% of the material, such as wood, is collected from pre-existing products, structures or objects (like driftwood) and converted to a new finished item.

  • FSC®

    Certified to Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) standards, this logo ensures that products come from well-managed forests in order to aid preservation, protect biodiversity and uphold social responsibility standards.

  • Handcrafted

    We define "handcrafted" as UNESCO does: Artisan products are those produced by artisans, either completely by hand, or with the help of hand tools or even mechanical means, as long as the direct manual contribution of the artisan remains the most substantial component of the finished product.

  • Low VOC

    Finishes that use fewer harsh solvents and emit fewer Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), improving indoor air quality for our factory workers and customers' homes.

  • Non-Toxic

    Product and manufacturing process will not cause adverse health effects to humans, either immediately or over the long-term, and meet Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulatory standards as defined by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

  • OCS

    Certified to the Organic Content Standard (OCS), these items are made with the stated percentage of organic fiber that is grown without pesticides or GMOs.

  • Organic

    Organic fibers aren't treated with pesticides, insecticides or herbicides and often use fewer natural resources.

  • Reclaimed

    Materials that are made from pre-existing products, structures or objects (like barn wood) and converted to a new finished item.

  • Recycled

    Materials from pre-existing products that have been diverted from landfill disposal. New finished products made with recycled material must include percentage claim.

  • Upcycled

    Wastage or leftover from industrial processes that are diverted from the waste stream and reused before they reach consumers. Finished products made with recycled material must include percentage claim.

  • Water-Based Finish

    Water-based finishes use fewer harsh solvents and emit fewer Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), improving indoor air quality for our factory workers and customers' homes.

  • Water Efficient

    Product manufactured using water-efficient processes such as waterless dying, finishing or printing.