The guideline defines sustainable textile procurement as the procurement of textiles "that deliver long-term social, economic and environmental benefits along their entire value chain and life cycle compared to an alternative product." To this end, the guideline draws on clear social and environmental sustainability criteria that are also recognised and recommended by the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. Partnership members already had the opportunity to comment on the draft guideline in 2016.
In a press release, German Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller said the German government was sending a clear signal:
"From now on, clear sustainability criteria will apply to public textile procurement - whether it's police uniforms or doctors' gowns. The new guideline also sends a signal to companies: Sustainability is a competitive advantage! The procurement volume of the federal, state and local governments in Germany amounts to 500 billion euros per year. That's a huge lever that we need to use of in order to make supply chains sustainable."