West elm works with artisan communities around the world to design and make products that can’t be found anywhere else. From baskets woven in the Philippines to hand-loomed wall hangings from India, a number of our designs proudly wear our “Handcrafted” label. When you see “Handcrafted” on one of our products, it means it has met the definition and standards set forth by UNESCO—“Artisanal 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.”
↑ Top left image by @ongpalao
↑ Our Linework vases are handcrafted in the Philippines
When we are labeling products like our Linework vases as Handcrafted there are a number of questions we ask. Is what makes this product valuable and unique a hand technique? Can we transparently convey the handwork that goes into this product’s making?
On some of our Handcrafted products from India, you may also notice the Craftmark logo. Craftmark is a nonprofit organization in India that documents and certifies more than 80 traditional Indian craft techniques, like the weaving you will find in many of our rugs and pillows.
Here’s the full range on Handcrafted techniques you’ll find in west elm products.
Hand-embroidered: Embroidered Peruvian Sparrow Pillow
Hand-felted: Felt Ornaments
Hand-loomed: Silk Hand-Loomed Pillow Cover
Hand-painted: Hand-Painted Moroccan Bowls
Hand-papier-mâché: Papier Mache Wall Art
Hand-stitched or hand-sewn
Hand-turned or hand-thrown: Avron Ceramics Vase
Hand-woven: Hand-woven Rugs
Jennifer Gootman is the Director of Social Consciousness & Innovation at West Elm where she oversees the brand’s commitments to increase sourcing from artisans, supply chain transparency, and sustainability. Jennifer has more than ten years experience working with economic development and arts-focused nonprofits and social enterprises in New York, Nicaragua, and India and is thrilled to be part of a company that is committed to using its purchasing power to create social, economic, and environmental change.