The Green Button
Sustainable fashion is not always visible at first glance in German shops. The Green Button is changing that. As a state-run certification mark for textiles manufactured sustainably in line with social and environmental standards, it provides guidance when making purchasing decisions. The Green Button identifies clothing that has been produced in accordance with high standards relating to labor and the environment.
The Green Button was introduced as a German certification mark for textiles for corporate social responsibility in 2019. The label was developed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The government-run textile certification label Green Button has been in effect since September 2019. Since its launch, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as scheme owner has been announcing that the Green Button would undergo further, step-by-step development. Measures to protect people and the environment are to be expanded, and risks are to be addressed even better - ultimately along the entire supply chain.
The Green Button is a government-run certification label for sustainable textiles. Everyone who aims to purchase socially and environmentally sustainable clothes should look out for the Green Button. It is attached directly to the product, making it easy to find when you are shopping – in a reliable and consumer-friendly way.
There is currently no other label like the Green Button. It demands that mandatory standards are met to protect people and the environment. A total of 46 stringent social and environmental criteria must be met, covering a wide spectrum from wastewater to forced labor.
The two pillars of the Green Button certification label
The company as a whole is required to demonstrate its social, environmental and human rights responsibility, on the basis of 20 criteria.
Each product is required to comply with 26 social and environmental criteria, covering a wide spectrum from proper wastewater discharge to a ban on forced labor.
The Green Button bans the use of hazardous chemicals and softeners and lays down mandatory limits on effluent discharge.
Ban on hazardous chemicals
Biodegradability of chemical substances
Limits for wastewater
Less air pollution and CO₂
Use of natural fibers tested for pollutants
Sustainable procurement of chemical fibers
The Green Button sets mandatory requirements for decent work, from guaranteed minimum wages and compliance with working hours to a ban on child labor and forced labor.
Ban on forced labor and child labor
Ban on discrimination and harassment
Payment of the minimum wage
Working hours and paid overtime
Right to freedom of assembly and collective bargaining
Health and safety at work must be guaranteed