What is West Elm?

60% of West Elm products support at least one of its sustainability initiatives

The eco-friendly furniture and decor retailer West Elm, owned by Williams-Sonoma Inc., was founded in Brooklyn, New York, in 2002.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. claims to be one of the United States' largest e-commerce retailers "with some of the best known and most beloved brands in home furnishings" including Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma.

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WSM WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC. 288.85 -5.62 -1.91%

Its West Elm brand claims that it has become a "leader in home furnishings that are approachable, affordable and sustainably produced."

The company has a team of in-house designers that collaborate with artists and independent designers both locally and around the world to create an "exclusive collection" for the company, according to West Elm's website.

The company also claims to offer "handmade and one-of-a-kind discoveries from around the world."

However, the modern furniture store had quite the rocky start before becoming Williams-Sonoma’s fastest-growing brand, according to Fast Company.

Although the company is about 18 years old, the retailer didn't turn a profit until after Jim Brett took over as president of the company in 2010, the outlet reported. In fact, the company had even closed some stores.

However, within four years, Brett was credited with saving the brand by humanizing its products, Fast Company reported.

Today, Williams-Sonoma Inc.'s growth is lead in part by the brand, according to the company's 2019 annual report.

Revenues in fiscal 2019 increased by 4 percent, according to the report.

"This increase in net revenues was primarily driven by West Elm and Pottery Barn," the company wrote.


West Elm, which now has over 100 locations across various markets including the U.S., Canada and Australia, remains committed to curating a selection of "ethically-sourced and Fair Trade Certified products," available online and in stores worldwide, according to the company.

To date, 60 percent of its products support at least one of our sustainability initiatives, according to the company's website.

For example, the company says its Fair Trade factories support over 13,000 workers and their families. The company has invested roughly $200 million in artisan communities and local craftspeople.

Additionally, all of its all-cotton bedding and bath towels are organic and more than half of its wood furniture is sustainably sourced, according to the company's website.