Report on Transparency and Traceability for the Green Button

‘Where do my clothes come from?’ is a question more and more people ask themselves when buying a T-shirt or trousers. They want to shop consciously and not support any environmentally harmful or exploitative practices. In October 2019, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) launched the Grüner Knopf (‘Green Button’) as a state meta-seal for sustainable textiles. The seal is intended to help those who want to buy socially and environmentally sustainable clothing. With this label, they can find relevant products more easily and make a purchase decision based on reliable, consumer-friendly information. Since the introduction of the seal, more than 50 companies have sold products with the Green Button certification label.

To better establish social and ecological standards in the textile industry, the BMZ now wants to further develop the state seal into the Green Button 2.0. This will make even more transparency available to consumers, among other things.

For this purpose, adelphi created a report that elaborates various transparency elements and checks their feasibility. The report is based on:

  • an evaluation of the current discourse on transparency expectations of consumers and civil society,
  • an evaluation of the existing transparency practices of companies, and
  • interviews with ten companies that have already been certified for the Green Button or are working on certification.

The results of the report were intended to serve as a foundation of information for the Secretariat and the Advisory Board in the development and implementation of the Green Button 2.0. In preparing the report, adelphi was also making a contribution to increased transparency when buying textiles that are socially and ecologically sustainable.