When Gordon and Carole Segal opened the first Crate and Barrel store in 1962, they were two adventurous shopkeepers whose mission was to travel the world and find functional modern designs to enhance everyday life at an affordable price. Key to their plan was the unconventional notion of going to the source in Europe—discovering talented craftsmen and artists and directly importing everything on their own. By avoiding the middleman, more young couples like themselves could afford to appreciate these great finds.
On their early travels through Europe, the Segals discovered many signature items that have remained iconic to Crate and Barrel for almost 50 years. The exquisite artistry of handmade glass from Poland. The bold pattern and color of Marimekko textiles and accessories from Finland. The superb quality of Wüsthof® cutlery hand-forged in Germany. The exceptional ceramics they had the unique opportunity to discover as Crate and Barrel became one of the first companies invited into the People’s Republic of China after its trade doors opened to the U.S. in the early ’70s. Many lifelong, personal relationships continue to this day from those early buying trips.
We were wanderlusts. And as our appetite for finding that “something special” around the next corner—the next country—grew, so did the beauty and wonder of our discoveries. Our passports cannot begin to tell the many stories and relationships that have made Crate and Barrel more than a store, but a family that extends around the world. We believe our customers’ knowledge of the country of origin of an item will enrich their appreciation of and connection to it. That’s why every Crate and Barrel product on our website clearly distinguishes its “home.”
Our environmental initiatives and social responsibilities in sourcing products around the world—whether in the USA or on the other side of the globe—are foremost in every company and product decision we make. We are continually aware of our need to ensure that Crate and Barrel, its agents and its vendors treat all who work with and for us with the highest level of respect and regard for their rights by complying with our Code of Conduct (download PDF). This Code of Conduct is based on the SA8000 global social accountability standard developed and overseen by Social Accountability International (SAI); visit sa-intl.org. We are also in diligent compliance with the California Transparency in the Supply Chain Act (download PDF) which strictly prohibits human trafficking and slavery at any and all points in our supply chain.
While we are always striving for the highest accountability, we want our customers to be confident in the knowledge that we are committed to keeping constant vigil with regular review of our business partners, manufacturing practices and the way in which we interact with the communities who help us bring our products to your home. We invite you to read about one of our many eco-social initiatives.