So happy to hear this morning that a global company like West Elm, is making such a strong commitment to supporting both American and global artisans. West Elm announced today a 35 million dollar purchasing plan for handcrafted products through 2015.
Photo credit: Creative Women
In addition, West Elm pledges to increase supply transparency and support artisans who adhere to high levels of social responsibility, health and safety standards, local laws etc.
Where does this commitment come from? West Elm is listening to their customers! Another reason why I love West Elm. This commitment is a direct reflection of their customers’ love for handmade products as well as consumers’ growing social concern for the impact product manufacturing has on those behind the goods.
If you’re interested to learn more about West Elm’s commitment to handcrafted products and artisans around the world, you can visit their website here.
When I first had the idea of starting a business that promoted handmade goods from American and international artisans, I saw a gap in the market and wished I had more options locally to buy design-oriented, hand made goods. Two years later and I see small businesses as well as large global companies starting to increase the number of handmade goods they sell. Some even selling only handmade goods like we do at Koromiko.
Photo credit: f is for frank
You might wonder why I’m promoting an initiative from a competitor that might take customers away from Koromiko. I don’t see it like that at all! I wish all stores offered handcrafted goods. My hope is that to become an artisan is a respected and financially viable career choice, and this can only come about with the ethical support of large companies like West Elm.
Photo credit: Oelwein
When I was growing up, I loved art, but was discouraged from pursuing it, because it was considered a “waste of time” and “there’s no money in it”. Every time I discover an inspiring maker for the store, I’m encouraged that there are artisans out there who are making handcrafted goods not only as a hobby, but actually creating a viable business that supports themselves and their families.