Only products with a recognized seal may be certified for the Green Button. The Green Button 2.0 recognizes two OEKO-TEX® product labels as credible reference seals. As an OEKO-TEX® founding member, Hohenstein issues both labels:
The Green Button is a German government seal for sustainably produced textiles. It sets binding requirements to protect people and the environment in the production of textiles. For this seal, both the product and the company are inspected.
The German state sets the criteria and conditions for the Green Button. Independent testing bodies, such as Hohenstein, monitor compliance with the criteria.
As a certification body approved by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Hohenstein is authorized to audit companies and test products for compliance with the Green Button criteria.
The tightened requirements of edition 2.0 will apply to all certifications starting August 2023:
- The criteria for corporate due diligence were strengthened and expanded. Companies must, for example, push for the payment of living wages and extend risk analysis to the entire supply chain.
- The product- and production-related requirements were expanded to include sustainable raw material extraction. In future, labeled products may only consist of approved fiber and materials.
MADE IN GREEN is recognized by Green Button 2.0 as proof of sustainable products and production processes. This applies to the following requirement levels:
- Cut & sew of finished goods ✔
- Wet processes ✔
- Approved fibers / materials (virgin polyester, organic cotton, recycled chemical and natural fibers) ✔
The Green Button 2.0 recognizes STANDARD 100 as proof of the use of approved fibers and materials (virgin polyester, organic cotton, recycled chemical and natural fibers).
The Green Button 2.0 recognizes ORGANIC COTTON as proof of the use of approved fibers and materials (organic cotton).
The seal holder is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The seal owner sets the criteria and conditions for the Green Button. An office is set up at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Independent certification bodies such as Hohenstein monitor compliance with the criteria. If certification is successful, the Green Button seal is awarded on behalf of the BMZ.
The Green Button is aimed at all companies that manufacture and/or distribute textile goods. This includes manufacturers of goods as well as trading companies that sell third-party products under their own brands.
However, it does not cover companies that distribute third-party products without themselves acting as product managers.
The seal is awarded for all textile products. However, articles that are (partly) made of leather as well as toys and fabrics are excluded.
Women's wear, men's wear, children's wear, daywear and nightwear, sportswear and functional clothing, outdoor textiles, socks, stockings, etc.
- Home and household textiles:
Linens, bedding, towels, table linen and kitchen textiles, curtains, decorative materials, furniture upholstery fabrics, floor coverings, etc.
- Technical textiles:
Personal protective equipment and workwear, medical and hygiene products, textile materials for automotive interiors, geotextiles, agricultural and environmental textiles, construction materials and insulation materials, etc.
- Textile accessories:
Headwear, scarves, shawls, gloves, bags, backpacks, etc.
The Green Button certification procedure has four stages. Participation in the subsequent stage requires successful completion of the previous stage.
- Information and application | Awarding body
Your company submits an application to the awarding office. The awarding office provides information documents and answers questions about the certification process. Your company then submits an application for certification. This is checked by the awarding office for eligibility to apply.
- Consultation | Office
After your application has been positively reviewed, a non-binding and confidential consultation meeting is held by the Green Button office. This is in preparation of the audit by an independent certification body. The focus of the discussion is on the company-related requirements and the product-related social and environmental criteria. As a basis for the discussion, your company must complete and submit a self-assessment in advance.
- Certification audit | Certification body (Hohenstein)
Following the consultation, your company makes an appointment for an audit with Hohenstein, the certification body approved for the Green Button. You sign a contract with Hohenstein to carry out the audit. Our experts check the fulfillment of all company-related requirements as well as the fulfillment of the product criteria during an audit at your company. If the audit is successful, we issue a certificate for you.
- Licensing | Awarding body
After receiving the certificate, your company concludes a licensing agreement with the awarding body. During the term of the license agreement (3 years), it entitles your company to label the audited products with the Green Button. Your company can find details on labeling and advertising in the Green Button Logo Manual.
Any company can contact the Green Button Awarding Body for advice.
CONTACT FORM - GREEN BUTTON
Vergabestelle Grüner Knopf
RAL gemeinnützige GmbH
(Green Button Awarding Body)
Fränkische Straße 7
Phone: +49 228 688 95-195
Please note: Select Hohenstein as the certification body and then contact us directly.
No license fees are charged.
To receive the Green Button, companies must comply with a social and environmental criteria that cover both the product and the company.
For a T-shirt or bed linen to receive the Green Button, social and environmental criteria must be met - the "product criteria." The Green Button builds on recognized, credible seals - e.g. OEKO-TEX® MADE IN GREEN or OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100.
In addition to the individual products, the company as a whole is also audited. Companies must demonstrate human rights, social and environmental responsibility based on corporate due diligence criteria.
Textile articles are awarded the Green Button label if:
- They are made of approved fibers and materials
- Environmental requirements are met during wet production processes, such as bleaching and dyeing
- Social working conditions during cut and sew of finished goods
The Green Button builds on recognized seals:
- OEKO-TEX® MADE IN GREEN - demonstrates compliance with social and ecological requirements
- OEKO-TEX® MADE IN GREEN and OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 - proof that certified products are made of approved fibers and materials
Ecological product criteria examples:
- Ban on hazardous chemicals
- Biodegradability of chemicals used
- Limit values for wastewater
- Lower air pollution and CO2 emissions
- Resource-saving use of water, energy and raw materials
- Waste reduction
Social product criteria examples:
- Prohibition of forced and child labor
- Regulated working hours and paid overtime
- Prohibition of harassment and discrimination in the workplace
- Right to freedom of association and collective bargaining
- Ensuring occupational health and safety
Raw material extraction/fiber & material use examples:
- Ban on genetically modified cotton
- Use of fibers from sustainable forestry
- Compliance with animal welfare requirements
- Pollutant limits
- Increased use of recycled fibers
To earn the Green Button, companies must credibly demonstrate their social, human rights and environmental responsibility and reputable business practices based on defined criteria.
Evaluation of companies is based on five core areas:
- Alignment of company policy on human rights and environmental protection
- Analysis of risks and impacts within the supply chain
- Implementation of effective measures
- Transparent reporting to the public
- Consideration of complaints
The company and product criteria are assessed with an on-site company audit conducted by the certification body (Hohenstein).
After the initial audit, the appointed certification body (Hohenstein) conducts a renewed surveillance audit every year during the three-year term of the certificate. After three years, a new audit is carried out as part of the re-certification process, and so on.