Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

VAUDE Green Shape

Functional, environmentally friendly products made from sustainable materials – that people who love the outdoors are passionate about. For us, Green Shape is an on-going challenge.

The VAUDE Eco Collection

Our Green Shape Label offers functional, environmentally friendly products made from sustainable materials. We are vigilant about fair working conditions throughout the supply chain during the manufacturing process.

Our criteria for evaluation are strict and transparent. They are under constant review and cover the entire life cycle of the product – from design to production, care, repair and utilization.

Pioneering work on criteria and transparency

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 has developed its own rating system for environmentally friendly outdoor products: Green Shape .

With the VAUDE Green Shape criteria, we evaluate our products in terms of environmental friendliness. 

Green Shape is briefly explained in this YouTube video.


Sustainability throughout the entire product life cycle

Green Shape covers the entire product lifecycle with strict standards - from design to production, care, repair and utilization.

This means that for Green shape products, not only do the primary materials meet these high ecological requirements, but all of the production facilities do as well. 

In addition, all other components such as threads, zips and prints must meet the strict Green Shape criteria.

Phases of the Green Shape product cycle

Aren't there enough eco-labels already?

Isn’t it confusing enough as it is…? You’re right. So why does VAUDE have its own label? 

In 2009 when we began to steadily steer our product development toward sustainability, awareness of ecological and social aspects of clothing was just beginning to develop.

We heard from all sides, that we shouldn't only produce "better" (more environmentally friendly) products – but that customers should also be able to recognize them in stores.

We searched high and low, but we didn't find a standard that worked for our different product groups – and for our products that are primarily made with artificial fibers – that could be used internationally.

So we developed the VAUDE Green Shape concept and labeled our products accordingly. Green Shape has been around since 2010, and it has become very well established in the market. It's no longer only customers like you and I who recognize it. More and more retailers are buying Green Shape products to make their product range greener.

So we continue to believe that the Green Shape label makes sense.

Green Shape 2.0 - all criteria

Up until our Summer Collection 2015, the Green Shape criteria included only the materials that we used in products. This was an important first step, but eventually, it was no longer enough for us. 

We have now added 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.

Green Shape 2.0 is two-stage: Each Green Shape product must be certified and/or environmentally friendly, and the manufacturer of the material must be environmentally certified. This doubles our safety net, especially with regard to handling chemicals in production.

Green Shape 2.0 expressly excludes the use of particularly critical materials and technologies such as PVC, fluorocarbons, chlorine- and hypochlorite-containing bleaches, nanotechnology or solvent-containing prints.

Each Green Shape product must be easy to maintain and clean, and cannot require dry cleaning.

The bluesign® system is an important part of the concept. 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. 

Here you can find the complete Green Shape Concept in detail. Caution – it’s complex! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

There are still gaps in the system ...

Green Shape 2.0 is already very comprehensive. Nevertheless, we are continuing to develop the Green Shape criteria to fill the few gaps left in the concept: 


  • We will determine a minimum material efficiency for Green Shape products to provide incentives for zero waste design.
  • We are currently working on criteria for the repairability of Green Shape products.
  • We still lack clear guidelines and criteria for recycling Green Shape products.
  • We need clear guidelines and transitional periods for new, innovative materials and technologies that we would like to try out and promote, but because of their market novelty sometimes do not fulfill all the Green Shape criteria e.g. for certifications. 
  • To make Green Shape even more credible, we would like to introduce a stringent, internal audit process and independent verification.

Feedback, ideas and suggestions are welcome. Simply use the contact button on this page to send us an e-mail.

At the end of the day, a label like Green Shape is about making it easier for you as a customer. We want to make it easier for you to see which products are more eco- friendly so that you can make well-informed purchasing decisions - for the benefit of all of us and our planet.

We are working together with many other agents in the textile and outdoor industry on an instrument with which we can measure the impact of a product on the environment and compare it: the Higg Index. Here you can read more.

Over 90% Green Shape Apparel

Each year we add more Green Shape items to our product range. And we're proud of it. Especially in the Apparel Collection, we are continuing to succeed in finding environmentally friendly materials from responsible suppliers.

However, we also face great challenges - especially in tents, backpacks and shoes. Materials such as hard plastic, metals, foam for shoe soles etc. are a fairly hard nut to crack from an ecological point of view. Understanding for our high environmental requirements for the products at our suppliers still needs to be expanded. Therefore, we are investing a lot of energy into our supply chain. More details here

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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By the way: The Economy for the Common Good rates VAUDE as “exemplary”

The Economy for the Common Good, an initiative that analyzes companies on a qualitative level, has rated VAUDE as exemplary in the area of “Ecological Design of Products”. The positive influence of VAUDE on the “increasing of social and ecological standards in the branch” of the entire outdoor sector is also highlighted – see more at: "Economy for the Common Good".

GRI:   G4-DMA Materials
Disclosure on Management Approach Materials
GRI:   G4-EN27
Extent of impact mitigation of environmental impacts of products and services
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