A new textile seal called the “Green Button” should help advance social and ecological standards across borders, according to German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller who presented the label on Monday.
Companies that wanted to use the green button label for their textile product would need to comply with 26 minimum social and ecological standards set out by the German development ministry.
The ecological standards included, for example, a ban on the use of plasticizers and other chemicals as well as limit values for wastewater generated during textile production.
Companies using the label would also need to prove that they were adhering to human rights as well as social and ecological standards, the ministry said.
“With the Green Button, we are now setting a high standard and demonstrating that fair supply chains are possible,” said Mueller.
The German textile industry, however, responded critically to the proposed green button label, which it believed would only cause confusion among consumers.
“We have no faith in the new label,” said Ingeborg Neumann, President of the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry.
“We cannot allow the internationally established seals and certification systems in which our companies have invested heavily for a long time to suffer damage,” Neumann said.
In contrast, the representative body for consumers, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) welcomed the label.
Vzbv board member Klaus Mueller believed that the green button could “provide consumers with a better orientation when shopping for socially and ecologically produced clothing”.
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