Green-Yellow-Red or Rainbow: What Do These Shirt Colours Mean? - Canopy

Green-Yellow-Red or Rainbow: What Do These Shirt Colours Mean?

Understanding Hot Button Shirt Colour Rankings

At the core of the Hot Button report lies the shirt colours assigned to each producer. These are very important, as CanopyStyle’s 455 participating brands feed this information into their own individual sourcing decisions as part of their commitment to avoid fabrics from Ancient and Endangered Forests. 

A Hot Button score reflects both the total amount of “buttons” earned, as well as the presence of risk. Buttons can be earned in a number of ways, including by: 

  • Completing a CanopyStyle third-party audit with a finding of low risk 
  • Contributing to conservation legacies 
  • Pursuing Next Generation alternative fibre sources 
  • Adopting strong forest sourcing policies 
  • Demonstrating traceability and transparency throughout the supply chain 
  • Showing leadership in shifting their supply chain towards sustainable sources 

Button Breakdown

The maximum possible button score is 38. Up to five buttons can be subtracted from the total if the producer is at high risk of sourcing from Ancient and Endangered Forests, and other controversial sources.   

These button counts result in the following:


But what about a company that has not engaged enough to be ranked, but has indicated an interest in the CanopyStyle initiative? To address this, we assign “Rainbow shirts,” signalling early-yet-active engagement. We work diligently with these producers to guide them through the process of developing CanopyStyle-aligned sourcing policies, the initiation of CanopyStyle Audits, and other actions that can help them improve their score and address fibre sourcing risk.  

So while it is possible to earn enough buttons to merit a green or yellow shirt and still have known risk based only on button count, it is critically important that all known risk be communicated clearly to avoid brands and retailers being unaware. In this situation, where known risk of sourcing from Ancient and Endangered Forests or controversial sources remains, we maintain red in the shirt as an overlay to the button count. For example, if a company earns a green shirt, but has yet to eliminate known risk, it would be assigned the shirt colour “green with red.” In 2021, we have issued our very first “green-yellow-red” shirt, indicating that the producer has earned enough buttons to qualify as green-yellow, but high-risk sources are found within their fibre based on audit results of known risk and adequate action has not yet been taken to address this known risk.   

In this way, we hope to strike a balance of acknowledging progress made, while providing brands with the information they require to avoid high-risk sources.  

Those who have been tracking the Hot Button Report since its first release will remember it initially focused exclusively on the top ten largest global producers who, at the time, represented 80% of the entire global production of MMCF. In 2021, we are in the remarkable situation where sometimes smaller volume producers often proactively approach Canopy to become engaged, gain support from our expertise, and undergo the auditing process. For this reason, you will see a growing number of ranked producers and also a category of producers assigned a simple open or closed white shirt, signifying producers that are “newly engaged” or “not yet assessed,” respectively. Over the years, many producers that began as white shirts have quickly climbed the “shirt ladder.” We encourage these MMCF producers to reach out and contact us with a view to being part of Hot Button 2022.