West Elm's collaboration with Sesame Letterpress

Standard Magazine

It's always encouraging when large companies support small, environmentally-responsible producers by purchasing their wares and extending their reach. Home retailer West Elm and independent, Brooklyn-based Sesame Letterpress are another example. Though West Elm might be getting the rich end of the deal: original Sesame Letterpress designs adorn West Elm goods, which are manufactured in ways that aren't clear.

About Sesame Letterpress
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Sesame Letterpress specializes in "custom printing projects from invitations to personal stationery to limited edition artists’ publications." Their printed paper goods are consciously produced with cast iron presses: "Each piece is hand-fed, one color at a time and one piece at a time on our Victorian machines. We are committed to reducing our footprint on the environment and use paper made from 100% recovered cotton fibers which require fewer chemicals and produce far less waste than papers made from trees."

Sesame Letterpress? I'm sold!

Sesame Letterpress collaborates with West Elm
Sesame Letterpress worked with West Elm to create unique, original designs for platters, coasters and salad plates. Reasonably priced, a set of 4 plates is $32. If I were in market, I might consider purchasing them, but I do wish West Elm was transparent about how they were manufactured. My questions: Are their glazes lead-free? Where were they made? How were they made (by hand, cast, etc.)? Regarding the other products, Sesame Letterpress did produce the coasters in their own environmentally-responsible way.

West Elm? I'm just not sure. More research must be done!

(Images: Sesame Letterpress)

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Green Living, Handmade, Tabletop

Landis is a ceramic artist who hand-makes heirloom-quality pottery for the kitchen, table, and home. She writes about tabletop design and entertaining for The Kitchn and lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and toddler.