Planning for a sustainable and viable future for hospitality and commercial laundries

UKHospitality and TSA form collaborate partnership at Round Table, Round One

The first Round Table summit between leading hospitality groups and commercial laundries ended in a series of pointers that will help plan for a sustainable and successful future.  Hosted by the TSA (Textile Services Association) and UKHospitality, the event was the first step in establishing a collaborative partnership to tackle the extreme pressures that confront both industries.  Two key areas under discussion were the difficulties in the current operational model, with the need to take into account the increasing unpredictability of hotel occupancy, and the drive to be more sustainable. However, alongside these ‘big picture’ issues more day-to-day topics were discussed – such as the establishment of standard sizes for bed linen. 

Co-chairs of the discussions were David Stevens, CEO of the TSA, and Tony Sophoclides, Strategic Affairs Director of UKHospitality.  Leading organisations from both hospitality and the laundry industry were represented, including Accor, Clean Linen Services, Fishers Services, Georgian House Hotel, IHG, Johnsons Hotel Linen, Marriott, and Travelodge.  The event took place at the London Marriott Hotel Regents Park on 24th March 2022. 

The importance of laundries to the hotel sector was underlined by Andrew Towns of Marriott and Emmanuel Poignant of Accor, who both confirmed, “Linen is critical, without it we can’t sell our rooms.” 

Summer 2022 vs. summer 2021 brought lively discussion, underlining the occupancy issue.  While London hotels are reporting levels ahead of 2021, for the rest of the UK the figures remain in line with last year. 

From the left: Florence Alloing, General Manager (Georgian House Hotel), Kevin Godley, CEO (CLEAN Linen Services), Michael Simpson-Jones, Head of Category (Travelodge), Helen Wood, Managing Director (Johnsons Hotel Linen), Tony Sophoclides, Strategic Affairs Director (UK Hospitality), David Stevens, CEO (TSA), Michael Jones, Managing Director (Fishers Services), Emmanuel Poignant, North Europe Procurement (Accor), Andrew Towns, Senior Manager, Procurement United Kingdom & Ireland (Marriott)

Meanwhile, there has been a surge in last-minute booking, exacerbating the volatility of the market – and making it nigh on impossible to predict requirements for linen.  The combination of staffing issues and irregular capacity is adding to the problems laundries are facing. 

On a positive note, Kevin Godley of Clean noted that laundries are better prepared this year than they had been in summer 2021, when business went from zero to 100% almost overnight.  However, he added a proviso: “Success this summer will only be achieved if laundries and hotels work together in partnership to overcome these ongoing challenges of irregular occupancies, recruitment shortages and availability of linen.”

It was agreed that better communications between laundries and hotels could help reduce the issue of sharp peaks and fast declines in linen requirements.  However, there may be a need to invest in more linen – as one delegate pointed out, for a hotel, the cost of investment is likely to be less than the cost if they had no linen.

Sustainability is an ongoing issue and one that hotels and laundries must tackle together.  TSA’s ‘Infinite Textiles’ scheme, which looks to extend the life of linens and then recycle instead of sending them to landfill, was welcomed by the hospitality industry.  Meanwhile there was also consensus to move away from single use plastic to wrap clean linens: with discussions well underway, the initiative is expected to be agreed shortly.

Another question brought to the table was, should there be set sizing for linen? Currently there are very different types and sizes of linen, depending either on what the hotel wants or what the laundries supply. Would a simplified bedlinen sizing structure help? It was agreed that the topic would be investigated further at the next Round Table. 

“The Round Table discussions were candid, sincere and have moved us forward,” says David Stevens.  “We all agree on the need to work in closer cooperation if we are to survive and thrive.  This was round one and it has sown seeds and set up a map for future progress.” 

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Infinite Textiles: greener linen for hospitality and healthcare

Commercial laundries’ recycling initiative will slash CO2 emissions and water consumption

The TSA has teamed up with UKHospitality, WRAP and PCIAW to launch the Infinite Textiles scheme.  The scheme will see commercial laundries partnering with their customers to recycle end of life linen and towels from the hospitality, healthcare and leisure industries, with the aim of saving tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon and billions of litres of water every year. 

Currently over 6,000 tonnes of hospitality textiles are sent to waste annually.  “Infinite Textiles has the potential to put a stop to the waste,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA (Textiles Services Association).  “If the industries can come together on this key project, we really will be making a difference to the environment. This will be the largest laundry industry textile recycling project in the world.” 

Infinite Textiles aims to cover the whole life of the textiles, from sourcing through manufacturing and on to washing and inspection, with laundries and their customers working together to maximise the life of the linen.  Only when the product reaches the end of its useful life does it move into the recycling phase.  Here it’s inspected, treated and sorted into bales before being delivered to the Infinite Textiles hub in Sunderland.  From there the bales go to approved recyclers for turning back into yarn and going on to manufacturers. 

The Infinite Textiles numbers make a convincing argument.  It has been reported that the energy required for the reuse or recycling process of polyester is only 1.8% of the total energy consumed by the virgin fibre.  Similarly, the reuse of one tonne of cotton fibre needs only 2.6% of the energy required for the virgin material.*

The growing and harvesting of natural fibres is where the most water is consumed and the most CO2 emissions occur.  For example, the production of one tonne of the nitrogen fertilisers used emits around seven tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases.** 

The TSA will administer and manage the scheme, supporting a network of coordinated pick up points for the bales around the UK, making it easier for smaller laundries to take part.  The TSA is also providing plenty of support resources, including training and webinars, and setting up an online platform for participants to track volumes and revenue lines. 

“Rightly, there’s growing pressure to manage waste streams more responsibly,” says Stevens.  “The drive to develop the Infinite Textiles scheme comes not only from our members, but also from their customers, to help support their sustainability objectives.   By launching a certifiable scheme now, we stay in front of the curve and demonstrate the benefits of the commercial laundry industry and its circular credentials.” 

Infinite Textiles will provide evidence of compliance with the Waste Framework Directive and supports certification with ISO 14001 and BS 8001.  The scheme is allied with the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and compliant with circular economy certification.  It is audited by UKAS-accredited certification bodies. 

For information on UKHospitality visit  

For information on WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, visit 

For information on PCIAW, the Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide, visit 

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It’s ready, set, go for the TSA’s spring conference

Linford Christie OBE among the speakers lined up for the TSA’s 2022 conference

The Textile Services Association has announced the line-up and ticket details for its 2022 Spring Conference, which will take place at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel in Birmingham on the 4th and 5th of May.

After taking a couple of years off thanks to Covid, the Spring Conference is back and offers a chance for the industry to come together to celebrate the successes of the previous year as well as taking stock of some of the challenges ahead.

The conference line-up includes explorations of current topics facing textile service businesses as well as speakers from the worlds of business, sports and entertainment. The conference will end with sporting legend Linford Christie OBE giving what is bound to be an entertaining and inspirational keynote address.

The conference will kick off on the evening of Wednesday 4th with a gala dinner, and entertainment from comedian Alfie Moore.

The schedule for Wednesday includes panels and talks with experts from the textile services industry and beyond. Laura Chalkey, Head of Partnerships at WorkNest, will give a talk on The Law and HR, while best-selling author and top motivational speaker Adrian Webster will give an illuminating presentation on the secrets of successful team building.

The conference reaches a climax with an appearance by Europe’s greatest ever 100m sprinter and the only British athlete to have won Gold in the 100m at all four major competitions, Linford Christie OBE. Linford will discuss his amazing life story and the secrets of his career, as well as some of the lessons he’s learned along the way coaching the next generations of Britain’s athletes.

“After an eventful couple of years we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “The conference is a great way to build relationships within the industry, along with providing a forum to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities it faces. We’re excited to be meeting old and new friends there!”

Tickets from the conference start from just £90 +VAT for a conference ticket, with dinner tickets for the Wednesday night £40+VAT. Attendees wishing to arrive Tuesday night can buy a B&B ticket for £99+VAT. These prices are for TSA members only as the event is heavily subsidised,. However, any non-members attending a TSA event for the first time are eligible for the members rate as an incentive to find out more about the TSA’s activities.

In order to book tickets please complete the booking form which can be found on the TSA website and return it to

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 


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