Code of Ethics of the VDMD

Binding Code of Ethics of the VDMD


1. Objectives of the Code of Ethics of Designers


The VDMD Code of Ethics formulates codes of conduct that stand the test of professional practice. They also call on members to address these issues and integrate them into their daily work. Compliance with the Code of Ethics is obligatory for all VDMD members. (Resolution of the General Assembly of 27.10.2007 in Frankfurt/Main)


2. Qualification of designers


Only fashion and textile designers are admitted to the VDMD who

  • can prove that they have completed a relevant training course or are doing so at the time of admission,


  • can prove that they have been working full-time as a fashion or textile designer for at least 2 years.


Designers share responsibility for sustainable design and can influence processes along the textile chain. The protection of copyrights is a very own topic of the creatives, the respect of human rights and the consideration of ecological aspects are of central importance in the sense of a sustainable design and value creation process. The Code of Conduct formulates the rules that result in particular from the work in the Presidium and committees.

The ethical rules of the VDMD are based on the Declaration on Procurement Codes of Conduct to Ensure Social Standards of the Außenhandelsvereinigung des Deutschen Einzelhandels e.V. (AVE) and the European Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) as well as the prevention strategies of the German economy. In addition, the VDMD has laid down rules regarding copyright and the conduct of members that take account of laws as well as customary practices in practice.


3. Respect of copyright


The designers respect the copyright of other designers by producing intellectual or artistic works with an appropriate level of creation in accordance with the German Copyright Act (UrhG).

In plain language: There is no copying. Suggestions by other designers are permitted if the new work achieves its own level of creation and thus looks clearly different from the work of another designer.

The designers must inform their clients of possible infringements of copyright. They shall also refer to the possible protective measures.


4. Respect of human rights


The designers promote the voluntary commitments of their clients ("Code of Conduct" etc.) as far as they can influence them. The elementary principles are taken to heart, stricter requirements are optional.


The elementary principles:


  • Nationally applicable labour law shall be complied with.
  • Child labour is prohibited in the production of goods or the provision of services. For the definition of child labour, the United Nations regulations (people under 14 years of age) or the nationally applicable regulations apply, whichever is stricter.
  • Workers must receive wages and other benefits that at least cover the cost of living where the legal minimum wages are too low to do so.
  • The right of workers to form and join organisations of their choice and to bargain collectively shall not be restricted in any way.
  • There shall be no discrimination on the basis of workers' personal characteristics or beliefs.
  • The use of forced labour, corporal punishment, physical or mental coercion is prohibited.
  • Safe and healthy working conditions are guaranteed. Corresponding principles apply to workers' accommodation, where such is provided.


Stricter requirements:


For example Fair Trade, Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), ...


5. Consideration of ecological aspects


The designers promote the voluntary commitments of their clients ("Code of Conduct" etc.) as far as they can influence them. The elementary principles are taken to heart, stricter requirements are optional.


The elementary principles:


  • Avoiding superfluous packaging during transport, storage and sales
  • Shortening of logistical chains to minimise emissions during transport
  • Use of pollutant-free yarns, fabrics, leathers and ingredients in accordance with the current REACH regulation
  • No use of products from the bodies of protected animal species


Stricter requirements:


For example, Oeko Tex Standard, IVN Standard, ...


6. No fur in fashion and textile design


The VDMD clearly distances itself from the processing of fur in the fashion and textile industry in general as well as animals bred specifically for this purpose. The VDMD demands proof of origin of the processed furs (according to standard or/and certification) as well as appropriate textile labelling.

The furriers' trade should maintain its own code. We recognise the creative achievement of the furrier craft and call on the corresponding craft association (guild) to bring in a corresponding ethically sustainable handling for their craft.


7. Consideration of health aspects


  • The designers promote the ideal image of "normal weight" by using models with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 18.
  • developing collections that are suitable for at least one norm as a size range (women 36 to 46, men 46 to 56)


8. Code of Conduct in the VDMD


Members undertake to communicate with each other in a fair and collegial manner that is beneficial to the VDMD. They shall observe the following rules of conduct in particular:


8.1. All members


  • Commitment to the reputation of the VDMD.
  • Commitment to the reputation of the professions represented by the VDMD.


8.2. Members who serve on bodies that are not organs of the Association, in addition to point 7.1 of the Statutes:


  • Acceptance of the rules for committees set out in the rules and guidelines.
  • Attendance at agreed meetings, continuous cooperation and adherence to agreed delivery dates of contributions.
  • Confidentiality about personal matters of members of which they become aware through the work of the body.
  • Confidentiality about internal company matters of members which come to their knowledge through the work of the committee.
  • Confidentiality about internal association matters of the VDMD of which they become aware through the work of the Board.
  • Acknowledgement of the exclusive exploitation rights of the VDMD to the work results of the committees, in particular the right of unrestricted reproduction by print media, publication by means of electronic media, translation into any foreign languages and worldwide distribution.
  • No commercial use of the Panel's work results before the work has been completed and published by VDMD.
  • No use of members' addresses for own purposes or purposes not related to the official work of the respective committee.
  • Payment to the VDMD of fees received by panel members for activities or lectures directly related to the panel's work.


8.3. Board members who are authorised to represent the association within the meaning of §26 of the German Civil Code (BGB), in addition to points 7.1 and 7.2 of the statutes:


  • No self commissioning


9. Attachment


Selected relevant organisations (as of 01.12.2015)


Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), 

Fair Trade 

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)

VIER PFOTEN – Stiftung für Tierschutz

VIER PFOTEN – Stiftung für Tierschutz

World Customs Organization

World Intellectual Property Organization