Dear visitors to the PromoTex Expo,

Sustainable fashion is a matter of importance for three quarters of German consumers. They want to know, quite rightly, how their clothes are produced. Textile manufacturers have also got the message: in a survey carried out by the trade magazine Textilwirtschaft, 78 per cent agreed that sustainability is “the most urgent project of our times”.

 

That is why I am very pleased that the PromoTex Expo has made Sustainability 2020 its centrepiece. Visitors can follow a specially designated “green route” that takes them to sustainable exhibitors and can learn all about sustainability.

 

There are more sustainable companies than one might think. In September 2019, 27 textiles companies were in the first cohort to receive the Green Button – the publicly-endorsed label that marks out textiles made in accordance with social and sustainability standards. These first companies include acknowledged sustainability pioneers like hessnatur and vaude, companies that offer promotional wear, sportswear and workwear like BrandsFashion or Kaya&Kato, big chains like Tchibo, Lidl and Aldi and the Otto Group. They are all showing that fair supply chains are possible.

 

In order to receive the Green Button, companies must fulfil 46 stringent criteria. These cover everything from upholding labour rights to testing for chemical residues. What makes the Green Button special is that, besides the individual products, the company is audited, too: Does it meet its obligation to exercise due diligence? Does the seamstress have recourse to complaints mechanisms? Does it disclose information about its supply chain? A few products ‘for show’ are not enough. These are the things that make the Green Button different.

 

The continuing high level of interest from textiles companies shows us that we are on the right track. There are over 100 more companies that would like to be certified.

 

The sustainability pioneers are also proof that fair has flair – and it doesn’t have to be expensive either! There are several football clubs, for example, offering fan articles that have received the Green Button. Now it is up to customers to confirm their interest in being able to buy sustainable fashion.

 

Look for the Green Button and join us in changing fashion.

 

The Green Button – our sign for responsible manufacturing!

 

Dr Gerd Müller

Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development