Search Report
2015 Sustainability Report
published 2016/07/13

VAUDE Green Shape

With our Green Shape label, we offer functional, environmentally-friendly products made from sustainable materials. They are manufactured under fair working conditions along the entire supply chain. The criteria for the label are strict and transparent. They are under constant review and cover the entire lifecycle of the product from design, through production, care and maintenance, to repair and the product’s end of life.

VAUDE "Eco" Collection

How do you decide whether a material, process or product is “environmentally-friendly”? Especially when there are no worldwide standards, no operating evaluation systems, and no international or uniform “certificates” to go by. 

Green Shape: strict criteria for environmentally friendly products

VAUDE is a pioneer in this field and developed its own rating system for environmentally friendly outdoor products in 2010: Green Shape

Green Shape is the VAUDE guarantee for environmentally-friendly products – made from sustainable materials and resource-conserving manufacturing. Our goal is the best for people and nature.

Phases of the Green Shape product cycle

Green Shape 2.0: stricter - more comprehensive - safer

Since the introduction of the Winter Collection 2015/2016, the stricter criteria for VAUDE Green Shape have applied.

Green Shape is explained in just a few minutes in this YouTube film:

Stricter requirements

VAUDE is now setting even stricter requirements for the evaluation of its Green Shape products. Green Shape is the VAUDE guarantee indicating products that have been manufactured in an environmentally-friendly, resource-conserving manner.

A more holistic approach

Green Shape involves the entire product life cycle in accordance with even stricter environmental standards – including product design, development, manufacturing, care and recycling after use.

Not only the main fabrics used, but also the production sites must meet the high environmental requirements. What’s more, all additional components such as yarns, zips and press studs must meet the strict Green Shape criteria.

Customer Safety

Retailers and consumers have the assurance that the more comprehensive Green Shape approach guarantees environmentally friendly products that do not have a negative impact on people or the environment.  

What is changing?

  • Previously, the Green Shape criteria included materials but not the entire production process. This has now changed with the new requirements: the entire product life cycle is examined including design, all materials used, the production facilities, use and maintenance of the product, and potential recycling and/or environmentally-friendly disposal. 
  • The bluesign® system certification for textile materials is an essential foundation of Green Shape criteria. However, for the production of backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and shoes we need materials such as metals, foams and other plastics that are out of the scope of bluesign® system. Therefore the Green Shape criteria were expanded to include the use of these additional substances and materials.
  • The bluesign® system is an important part of the VAUDE Green Shape criteria. But Green Shape goes beyond the bluesign® system: Green Shape products may not, for example, contain fluorocarbons, while bluesign® allows their use under strict conditions. 
  • The Green Shape guarantee expressly excludes the use of particularly critical materials and technologies such as PVC, fluorocarbons, nanotechnology or solvent-based prints.

What criteria are used to certify Green Shape?

All products are tested on the basis of new Green Shape criteria for their sustainability. The following steps have been adhered to before a product is labeled Green Shape:

1. Exclusion criteria

  • Genetic engineering
  • PVC
  • PTFE
  • Nanotechnology
  • coatings/treatments:

     • chlorine and hypochlorite bleach
     • PFC-DWR
     • large prints and motif prints must be made from environmentally friendly processes to be


2. Certified environmentally-friendly materials

  • Material suppliers are selected based on ecological certification:

    • bluesign® System Partner
    • STeP/Öekotex 1000
    • EMAS
    • Made in Japan/Germany/Austria/Switzerland
    • ISO 14001

  • Certified materials:

    • bluesign® approved
    • Öekotex 100
    • GOTS
    • EU Eco Flower
    • Blauer Engel („blue angel“)
    • Leather Working Group Protocol

  • Natural materials:

    • organic cotton
    • recycled materials
    • hemp
    • Tencel®
    • chlorine-free wool
    • environmentally-friendly dye processes
    • biodegradable

3. Certified environmentally-friendly components 

(i.e. zips, yarns, buttons, …):

  • Component suppliers are selected based on ecological certification:

    • bluesign® System Partner
    • STeP/Öekotex 1000
    • EMAS
    • Made in Japan/Germany/Austria/Switzerland

    • ISO 14001

  • certified materials:

    • bluesign® approved
    • Öekotex 100
    • natural materials
    • undyed
    • recycled components
    • biopolymer

4. Setting minimum material efficiency
     (planned for Winter 2017)

5. Eco-Friendly Product Care:

  • No dry cleaning
  • Washing at the lowest temperatures possible (<30 ° C), 
  • No dryer required (except to reactivate DWR)


Development of the Green Shape percentage in the main product groups

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Development Green Shape Shares in the entire Collection

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"Old" Green Shape criteria inclusive Summer Collection 2015

Green Shape Criteria up to and including Summer Collection 2015

Until the Summer Collection 2015, a product was Green Shape :

  • when it meets the conditions of a "bluesign® product", or
  • when it is dyed with VAUDE ecolour – see VAUDE ecolour – conservative dye process
  • when it is made of at least 90 percent environmentally-friendly materials:

   bluesign® approved fabric
    • organic cotton
    • recycled materials
    • a combination of these with at least 35 percent Tencel ® or hemp 

How we evaluate the Green Shape Collection:

  • The VAUDE Green Shape mountain is our evaluation system for all products up to and including the Summer Collection 2015. The closer a product is to the summit, the greater the benefit for the environment. Products with maximal resource efficiency and certified eco-quality: "bluesign® product". Ideally combined with environmentally friendly raw materials such as recycled polyester.
  • For the "Camp 2" stage, our product managers combine environmentally friendly materials with "bluesign® approved fabric" certification.
  • The "Camp 1" stage is for products that are made from at least 90 percent environmentally friendly materials.
  • In "Advanced Base Camp" stage, the product offers a true eco-advantage. But this is not enough to meet the Green Shape criteria. For example, a T-shirt made from 70 percent organic cotton: better, but not Green Shape.
  • At the "Base Camp" stage, we still have our work cut out for us. For many materials and components there just aren't any environmentally friendly alternatives with the same functionality. Research and development is needed so that innovative materials and technologies will become available as soon as possible.

* Scope:
These changes will apply from the Winter Collection 2015/16 for all new and revised products with new article numbers. Carry-overs and NOS (never out of stock) products in the Summer Collection 2015 that carry a Green Shape label, must comply with the new Green Shape criteria within three years at the latest.


--- modified 23rd of February 2017 ---

GRI:   G4-DMA Materials
Disclosure on Management Approach Materials
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