Der Grüne Knopf (the Green Button) is the first German state seal for sustainable textiles. Anyone who wants to buy ecologically and socially justly produced clothing or textile shoes can use the Green Button as a guide. The seal sets binding requirements to protect people and the environment: 46 demanding social and environmental standards must be met.
Orientation in buying
Three quarters of consumers find sustainable fashion important. They do not want to wear a T-shirt that has been sewn in 16-hour shifts for a pittance or dyed with toxic chemicals. The Green Button seal shows: Sustainable fashion is possible.
As the first state seal, the Green Button combines demanding requirements for individual textiles to be labelled with requirements for the entire company, which must prove its duty of care in the supply chains as a whole.
In the introductory phase, which is to last until 2021, the Green Button covers the production stages of ready-made clothing (cutting and sewing) and wet processes (bleaching and dyeing). The Green Button will then be extended to the "weaving and spinning" work steps and finally to the "fibre production/cotton cultivation" production step.
The Green Button is registered as a so-called warranty trademark and has been examined by the German Patent and Trademark Office. The requirements contained in the guarantee mark are mandatory and can be enforced internationally through trademark law. The guarantee mark statutes stipulate that only independent accredited testing bodies such as the PFI may confirm conformity to the manufacturer or the product responsible.
Area of application
The scope of the Green Button covers all textiles, especially clothing, textile fashion accessories, textile toys, backpacks, fabrics, home textiles and bedding. The Green Button can also be awarded for textiles made of polyester or other man-made fibres. In addition, the scope has recently been extended to include textile shoes.
A total of 46 demanding social and environmental standards must be met. A product must comply with 26 minimum social and ecological standards - from A for wastewater limits to Z for prohibition of forced labor. Furthermore, the company as a whole must prove its duty of care on the basis of 20 criteria. Independent auditors such as the PFI monitor compliance with these criteria.
The certification programme has been adapted to the specifics of the textile industry. Double certification is avoided for manufacturers thanks to the recognition of already equally certified products by recognized seals that meet the Green Button criteria. It is also possible to extend the Green Button to new collections and products within the audited supply chain during the certification period.