Germany has some of the strictest environmental legislation worldwide. We all benefit from this and have come to expect clean water, clean air and fertile soil as well as safe and healthy products.
Images of dense smog in Beijing, oil sands mining in Canada or burning rainforest illustrate the fact the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily follow the same rules. Thanks to the strict implementation of German legislation that includes official monitoring, products containing potentially hazardous chemicals or other safety risks rarely make it to the market in this country. This protects people and the planet and we believe that it continues to be a worthwhile investment.
German and EU environmental laws are democratically legitimized and therefore enjoy widespread acceptance by the general population and commercial enterprises. Violating these regulations not only involves a large financial risk but is also a risk to a company's reputation.
At the company headquarters in Tettnang-Obereisenbach, compliance with all environmental and occupational safety regulations is monitored and confirmed annually by EMAS and ISO 14001 certification.
We use various sources to inform ourselves about currently applicable legal standards, e.g. the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the GermanFashion industry association or legal advice.
To this end, we have been working for years with a legal registry for the area of environmental management in which all environmental regulations are listed. This legal register is audited during the EMAS review. We are currently establishing an overarching legal register and a company-wide compliance management system that includes the areas of environmental management, company, products and occupational safety.
In some of our production countries, environmental legislation is often either lacking or there is too little enforcement of compliance by national authorities.
With the German Supply Chain Duty of Care Act (LkSG), which came into force on January 1, 2023, German companies are for the first time also obliged to take responsibility for their supply chains - and thus for the conditions under which their products are manufactured abroad. Although VAUDE does not fall under the LkSG due to the size of the company, we have long complied with its requirements - voluntarily out of conviction.
»We cannot afford to violate applicable regulations. We often go far beyond legal requirements when it comes to environmental protection and social responsibility.«
Companies are often overwhelmed with becoming aware of and monitoring all legal regulations in all countries and with all actors in their supply chains themselves. VAUDE is no different. We are a rather small company in the global textile industry, and we work with production partners that do not belong to VAUDE. Nevertheless, we take responsibility for the legal compliance of our supply chain and all VAUDE products that our production partners manufacture.
We contractually regulate our suppliers' compliance with all legal standards relevant to them. To ensure that this is also effective in practice, we also get active help for ourselves and for them. External experts from specialized organizations, service providers, initiatives and associations support VAUDE and our partners in the supply chain. The costs for this are usually borne by VAUDE.
To protect our customers, we observe many different laws, regulations and standards, including textile labeling, product safety (such as the drawcord standard for children's clothing), REACH, and the EU Chemicals Ordinance. For this purpose, we are involved in various associations and working groups in order to be informed of all changes at an early stage and to incorporate them into our products and product specifications.
Some products require a CE Declaration of Conformity, such as those that are considered personal protective equipment, T-shirts with UV protection or toys. These VAUDE products are labelled with the CE mark, and corresponding proof and documentation is available to us and can be downloaded by consumers or retailers from our website. Read more here