Grüner Knopf – national seal for sustainable textiles

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) introduced a seal for ecologically and socially produced textiles: Grüner Knopf. “With Grüner Knopf we now set a high standard and show: Fair supply chains are possible. […] this is proven by all the companies that participate.” says Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. Grüner Knopf is the first state-monitored seal that combines requirements for both the manufacturing company and the product itself. 27 German companies are already certified, 26 are in the inspection process.

Two pillars: Standards for the company and the product

The manufacturing company must prove, based on 20 company criteria, that it takes proper responsibility for human rights and social and ecological standards in all their facilities and business practices. The criteria are based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the recommendations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the textile sector. The product must meet 26 minimum social standards, such as payment of national minimum wages, limitation and surveillance of working hours, freedom of association and a ban on child labor and forced labor as well as ecological standards including a ban on softening agents and other dangerous chemicals, pollution thresholds for wastewater and the reduction of environmental impacts.

Profundity of effects and supply chain

In the introductory phase, the Grüner Knopf covers the production stages of “cutting and sewing” (finishing) and “bleaching and dyeing” (wet processes). Over the next few years, it will be further developed with the help of an independent advisory board and extended to further production stages. Among others. one aim is to establish a standard of living wages.

sustainabill can assist in meeting the criteria

Profound and robust information about the entire supply chain is needed to guarantee the constant fulfillment of the criteria. sustainabill offers the technical support to control, map and visualize the supply chain from the final product back to the source collecting data from suppliers and sub-suppliers. An integrated risk screening allows for better management of environmental, political and social risks as well as a management of certificates and audits.


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