Greenpeace Grants Top Rating to Green Shape Label from VAUDE
• Greenpeace assesses 14 sustainability labels – most fail to keep their promises
• VAUDE receives top rating for its Green Shape label
• Greenpeace calls for circular economy
Since the tragedy at the Rana Plaza textile factory ten years ago, many textile brands have made big statements about their fair and sustainable production. Greenpeace has now examined to what extent these manufacturers live up to their promises. The Greenpeace report “Greenwash Danger Zone” reveals that while many fashion brands advertise their sustainability, most of them are guilty of greenwashing. 11 out of 14 sustainability labels failed the test. VAUDE’s own Green Shape label received a “green thumbs up” – the best possible rating. “We are very proud of this excellent assessment of our Green Shape label, which is based on the most stringent external standards, is highly transparent, and is constantly being refined. This is a great affirmation of our holistic, profound commitment,” says Antje von Dewitz, VAUDE CEO.
More and more brands are advertising with their own labels boasting terms like “sustainable”, “green” and “fair”. Greenpeace has now examined whether this image is actually backed up by improved production and working conditions. The organization examined whether workers receive living wages and whether data on suppliers and supply chains is publicly available, among other factors. They also checked whether companies used chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and human health as well as whether they publish detox wastewater data. “Even ten years after Rana Plaza, the fashion industry continues to exploit people and destroy the environment. To advertise with a sustainability label while producing more and more disposable plastic textiles under catastrophic working conditions is greenwashing,” explains Viola Wohlgemuth, an expert on resource conservation at Greenpeace.
Top Rating for VAUDE Green Shape
The VAUDE Green Shape label received top grades in almost every category. The decisive factor is VAUDE’s high level of engagement in the global supply chain, which includes its commitment to living wages, a transparent supplier list, proof of the materials used, and much more. The report also praised the very high proportion of Green Shape products to total production and that the label is awarded according to clear, transparent evaluation criteria. VAUDE also received special recognition for its commitment to long-term product use and closed-loop concepts.
From overproduction to circular economy
The overproduction of synthetic textiles contributes enormously to global environmental problems such as climate change, species extinction, water consumption, resource scarcity and more. Nevertheless, the production volume of non-recyclable textiles continues to rise rapidly. While 100 billion garments were produced annually in 2014, the figure is expected to be over 200 billion by 2030. At present, only one percent of garments are recycled into new textiles. Greenpeace is appealing to the fashion industry to take responsibility and establish closed material cycles. “We fully support Greenpeace in this effort – a circular economy is one of the most important solutions for preserving our planet. That is why we have been working to extend the product life cycle for years – with our repair offers, re-commerce models, upcycling projects, and our innovative ‘VAUDE Rent’ rental service for outdoor gear. At the same time, we are developing further services as quickly as possible in order to achieve growth decoupled from resource consumption. In addition, we are committed to building a circular textile industry with an infrastructure that makes it possible to collect, sort, and recycle textiles into textiles,” explains Antje von Dewitz.
VAUDE Green Shape label – comprehensive, strict & transparent
Since there was no comprehensive standard for sustainable textiles, VAUDE launched the strict Green Shape standard for functional, eco-friendly products made from sustainable materials and fair manufacturing in 2010. The strict Green Shape criteria encompass the entire product life cycle, from the design to the materials used, the material manufacturing processes, the production sites and the use and care of the product, as well as possible recycling and/or environmentally friendly disposal. In order to achieve the ambitious climate targets that VAUDE has voluntarily adopted, every new Green Shape product must consist predominantly of recycled or bio-based materials. This saves climate-damaging emissions and supports the development of a circular economy. In addition, Green Shape includes a repair index that systematically anchors reparability in product development from the outset.
Since July 2022, an external advisory council consisting of six independent, renowned experts has ensured that the criteria are developed further at the highest level and comply with the strictest requirements in the textile industry. VAUDE is a pioneer in this area – hardly any other brand has incorporated these strict criteria into its product development process at all up to now.
More about the Greenpeace report
More about VAUDE & Green Shape: