Purchasing guidance

The Green Button makes sustainably produced clothing easily recognisable.

The Green Button – a good choice


You are one of the people who want to know more about the textiles they buy. This is great! Transparency regarding the supply chain is the first step to ensuring that T-shirts, bed linen, jeans and all the rest are dyed using environmentally sound processes, and that the textile workers who make them are treated fairly.

Sustainable textiles – an overview is the first essential

This is why we provide you with basic information and further details about the audited companies and certified products. We are beginning with key data and progressively adding more information as the Green Button is developed. In addition to basic information about the business in question and its certified products, you can also view the date of the audit and the business’s certificate. We also inform you of the recognised certification labels with which the business fulfils the product requirements.

Why not take a look around? You will find the database here.

Do you want to find out more about the Green Button? You can find the criteria here.

Did you know that...

… on average each person in Germany buys 60 garments a year? Globally, 80 billion garments are purchased every year.

25 per cent of all insecticides used worldwide are employed in cotton production?

… an untrained seamstress in Ethiopia earns an hourly wage of less than 20 euro cents?

20 per cent of water pollution is caused by industrial effluent related to textile dyeing and processing? That makes the textile industry the second worst water polluter in the world.

… the apparel and footwear sectors are responsible for over eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions?

Tips for consumers


  • When you buy textiles, check for sustainability: Ask about the Green Button in the store. The Green Button is a good choice. The government-run label shows which textiles are produced in line with social and environmental standards.
  • Buy less: We never even wear about 20 per cent of the clothes we buy. So, before you buy an item, ask yourself if you really need it, if you will still like it a year from now, and if it matches things you already have.
  • Swap clothes or buy second-hand garments: Did you know that on average, clothes in Germany are worn only four times before they are thrown out? So you can often find garments that are still in very good condition at a very reasonable price in second-hand shops. Alternatively, consider a clothes swap.
  • You need to look after your favourite clothes: Read the care label carefully, to ensure that your clothes stay good for longer. Don’t wash them too hot or too often. For instance, you can wash out individual spots by hand.
  • Mend damaged items: It’s very easy to sew on buttons. You will find lots of helpful online tutorials. Tailors or dressmakers can take on more complex sewing work, and if the heels of your shoes are worn down, a good shoe repair shop can give them a new lease of life.
  • Too good to throw out: Every year in Germany, 1.35 million tonnes of used textiles and shoes are thrown out by private households alone. Charity clothes stores and clothing donation centres will be pleased to take items that are still in good condition. The rest can be recycled.
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