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Furniture and homeware retailer West Elm has pledged that 40 per cent of its products will be Fair Trade certified within the next four years.


The US headquartered firm—which trades in the UK via its Tottenham Court Road store, through a wholesale agreement with John Lewis, and online—is partnering Fair Trade USA to make the ethical commitment.


It said that as part of its commitment to ethical, transparent and sustainable sourcing, it will pledge that 20 per cent of the product line will be Fair Trade certified by 2017, rising to 40 per cent by 2019.


The pledge represents more than $1m in additional Fair Trade Premiums that will go back into the hands of workers in the next fours years alone.


Fair Trade USA is a non-profit organisation that promotes sustainable livelihoods for farmers, workers, and fishermen; protects fragile ecosystems; and builds strong, transparent supply chains through independent, third-party certification.


West Elm is an early adopter of the Fair Trade USA Factory program. The furniture retailer’s president Jim Brett said: “West Elm and Fair Trade USA share a market-based approach to social and environmental change. As a company we have a responsibility to provide ethical, transparent and sustainable sourcing and have great hope that our fellow retailers will be inspired to join us. Together, our industry can positively impact millions of workers and communities.”


Paul Rice, president and CEO of Fair Trade USA, said: “Fair Trade USA is committed to applying our proven agricultural model to the manufacturing industry, extending the progress and best practices we have achieved with farmers to factory workers, who make up 14 per cent of the global workforce.


“West Elm and Patagonia [an outdoor apparel retailer] were among the first brands to respond to our call to the industry to demand new standards and prevent incidents like the Bangladeshi fires and Pakistani building collapse from ever happening again.”

Related: West Elm to open shop-in-shops in John Lewis stores