A to Z: Der Grüne Knopf
The Grüner Knopf (which is German for Green Button) was established by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in September 2019 as a national certification mark for sustainable textiles. Its purpose is to guide consumers when buying sustainable textiles. For a product to be awarded the Green Button, both the product and the company must undergo tests to make sure they comply with environmental and social criteria. These include 26 individual product criteria, which are demonstrated using existing, recognised certification marks (e.g. GOTS and FWF leader status), and 20 additional corporate criteria to assess whether the company itself fulfils its duty of care in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, along with the OECD recommendations. Independent inspection bodes (e.g. TÜV), who are accredited by the national German accreditation body (DAkkS or Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH), check whether the products meet these criteria. 27 companies have already signed up for the launch of the Green Button, including Aldi, Tchibo, Hess Natur and Vaude. Another 26 are currently going through the vetting process, including Erlich, Hugo Boss and the Otto Group. To start with, the Green Button will only cover production stages such as wet processes (dyeing and bleaching) and sewing. It will guarantee payment of minimum wages, although not necessarily living wages.