Government responding to needs of commercial laundries – at last

TSA Gains the Support for Cross-Party Meeting in Westminster

TSA met with Derek Thomas, the MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives), in Westminster this week, to discuss the ongoing issues facing the commercial laundry industry. Association member Luke Edwards from Mounts Bay Laundry in Penzance helped to set up and also attended the meeting, as Mr Thomas is his local MP. Having pitched the case for the industry, the TSA is delighted that Derek Thomas has agreed to sponsor and to help organise a cross-party meeting in Westminster with an invitation to be sent to TSA’s members’ local MPs.

“We are hugely grateful to Derek for his help and for being such a strong advocate for our industry,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. Derek had previously visited Mounts Bay Laundry and so had a good understanding of the scale of the industry and its challenges. The Westminster meeting covered a lot of ground, including energy support, labour shortages and, more generally, what the industry can do to ensure that it is visible to the Government going forward. Also, demonstrating the industry’s role it plays in supporting the UK economy and how it can help the Government achieve its sustainability targets.

Stevens emphasises the work of the TSA’s members and the new Lobbying Steering Group in helping raise the industry’s profile. “The work has resulted in many MPs visiting laundries and recognising the importance of our industry.”

Left To Right: Emma Andersson (TSA), Luke Edwards (Mounts Bay Linen Hire), Derek Thomas MP, David Stevens (TSA CEO)

The rise in the industry’s profile is evident in the questions being raised in Parliament – just last month SNP member Martyn Day and Conservative Anne Marie Morris raised the issue of the need to support commercial laundries under the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries scheme. Even Grant Shapps the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, mentioned the issue in his recent letter, saying, “I recognise the ongoing challenges for the commercial laundry sector due to significant increases in global energy prices and other cost of living pressures.”

The aim of the upcoming cross-party meeting will be to provide an overview of the commercial laundry industry. It will underline the value it brings to the UK Economy and the reliance of both hospitality and healthcare on the industry. In addition, it will look to develop a strategy to allow the industry to engage fully in the newly formed Energy Efficiency Taskforce.

“At last, after all the lobbying by TSA and its members, the Government is starting to listen to commercial laundries,” says Stevens. “The support from Derek and other MPs is critical if we are to drive the messages home. But this is just the beginning, we can’t let up. There is much work to do.”

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Update from the TSA

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TSA strengthens relationship with TRSA in America

TSA’s stateside trip heralds a new phase in the partnership between the two associations

The Textile Services Association (TSA) has announced an important new stage in its partnership with its American counterpart, the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA).

Both associations have agreed to working closer together to share knowledge with each other across key areas, which will help to drive improvements in the services provided to both TSA and TRSA members. The areas include training and certification as well as aligning future global industry strategies and policies.

The TSA recently sent a team over to America to the TRSA’s head office in Alexandria, Virginia. While there they met with Joe Ricci, the president and CEO of the TRSA, and other members of the association’s leadership. A key element of the trip was the opportunity for the TSA’s team to examine the certification system and methodology the TRSA has developed. TRSA quantifies the industry’s commitment to cleanliness and sustainability through its Clean Green and Hygienically Clean Certification programs. as well as professional qualification  Certified Professional Laundry Manager (CPLM) designation. ‘You can only be impressed with what they have built’, says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.

Alongside this, the TSA’s director of finance and membership was able to sit in on a meeting of the TRSA’s diversity and inclusion committee, discussing approaches and sharing ideas on this vital topic.

They also attended the TRSA’s 13th annual legislative conference at the Westin City Center in Washington DC. There Shyju Skariah, the TSA’s director of programmes and projects, gave a keynote presentation to the Next Generation Committee which focussed on the TSA’s sustainability roadmap.  He also explained how the TSA supported by the TRSA, has been collaborating with De Montfort University to support its research into subjects relevant to hygiene management in the commercial laundry industry, including comparisons with the domestic and OPL markets.

The final day of the conference was focussed on face-to-face meetings with federal legislators and key staff members. “This kind of contact between the government and the laundry industry is something we would love to arrange in the UK,” says David. “Kevin Schwalb, vice president of government relations at the TRSA, has kindly agreed to support this agenda with us in the UK.”

“Throughout my tenure with TRSA, we shared information about industry trends and best practices,” said Joe Ricci. “Since the pandemic, we have increasingly worked closely with the TSA in the UK and have formed strong working relationships. The recent visit from the team has further built on this partnership.“

David is confident that the trip marks an important new phase in the relationship for both organisations. “It was fantastic to meet with Joe and the rest of the team at the TRSA. While their operation is ten times the size of the TSA we have so much in common – after all, laundry is laundry wherever it’s processed,” he says. “It was great to watch and learn from the TRSA Team and also share some of the work we have done. It really felt like a win-win trip! Going forward we are going to have regular meetings to build further on the relationship, and we are delighted that Joe agreed to speak at our Spring Conference about how we can continue to develop this partnership.”

The conference takes place on 3rd-4th May 2023. Booking information can be found on The TSA Website.

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Christeyns runs Friends and Family Day

18 April 2023

Group of young visitors to the Christeyns site at Bradford

Following on from the successful facility visits hosted during Bradford Manufacturing Weeks and The Christeyns Experience, hygiene specialist Christeyns last week invited Friends and Family to an ‘Introduction to the World of Work Day’ at their headquarters in Bradford.

The firm provides a lot of support to students and young people around the Bradford district through various company and council initiatives, but this event was for relatives or friends of employees between the ages of 13-18 who might be interested in finding out more about how Christeyns works.

The day was a great success, with the visitors participating in ‘The Apprentice’ task of creating a washing up liquid product with set challenges around market research, negotiation of raw materials, calculation of price and profits, creating visuals for their product and the pitch.

“It was an enjoyable day, providing insight into potential career opportunities and a better understanding of what we do,” explained Lucy Duckworth, HR & Marketing Administrator. “I’m sure the young people were keen to see what their parent or relative does at work and how a ‘real-life’ workplace works.”

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Techie Fibres

PPE is critical for the protection of workers in a variety of different professions and industries – but in order to do its job it has to be specified correctly and looked after properly, throughout its life.

The UK’s Textile Services Association (TSA) is the trade body representing commercial laundries and textile suppliers. Many of its members have specialist expertise in PPE, supplying, managing and maintaining protective workwear for a variety of industries and the healthcare sector. Here Shyju Skariah, Director of Programmes and Projects at the TSA, considers the issues.

These days there is a huge variety of personal protective equipment (PPE) available in industry and healthcare to protect workers and the public. From hi-vis jackets for civil engineers, to garments designed to guard against hazardous chemicals in factories, to PPE to protect doctors and patients in healthcare, each has its own application and is manufactured specifically to meet that need. Typically these garments are constructed from fabrics which are formed by blending multiple fibres of natural or synthetic origin, which are then treated with chemicals by surface spraying, immersion or penetrative procedures to provide maximum protection and to enhance long-life functionality.

To read the full article, please click here.

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Laundry Cost Index: 2022/2023 FYQ4

Packed TSA Spring Conference set for magical record

Stimulating programme covers variety of key issues, from the environment to wellbeing

3-4 May 2023, Hilton St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent

The TSA Spring Conference has brought together a cornucopia of talented speakers and stimulating presentations – so perhaps it’s not surprising that it’s set to beat all records in terms of numbers attending.

Presentations will cover topics as diverse as the environment, including a keynote address from award-winning environmentalist and author Natalie Fee, laundry fire safety, the energy market, and wellbeing. The ‘people matter’ section includes a talk by Matt Bowes of Vision Linens, who shares his story of leaving prison and being given a second chance, and a discussion on menopause awareness, its effect on the workforce and how best to approach it.

Christoph Geppert of Grain Sustainability is joined by Carmen Cardenal Pac of Ecolab to look at where we are as an industry on the TSA’s Sustainability Roadmap as well as, more specifically, the issues around microplastics and PFASs. 

In the arresting titled ‘1+1=3’ presentation, Joe Ricci, president and CEO of the TRSA, will join conference to show how the UK and USA textile associations are working together and what they are achieving and hope to build in the future.

A fantastical keynote address from Keith Barry will look at wellbeing in the workplace.  As a world-renowned ‘mentalist, magician and subconscious mind specialist’ his approach is likely to be thought-provoking and distinctly left-field. 

Keith is also providing the pre-dinner entertainment for the Industry Dinner, taking place on the evening of May 3rd.  Other networking events include a new members reception before dinner in the Sir Bobby Robson Lobby. 

Conference bookings are already at over 140, so anyone thinking of coming should contact the TSA as soon as possible.  Email for information or visit The TSA Website.

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TSA makes historic agreement with hospitality industry to reduce single use plastic

At least 100 tonnes of plastic a week could be saved with sustainable alternatives

The Textile Services Association (TSA) and UKHospitality are heralding the agreement reached by representatives of the hospitality and laundry industries at their latest roundtable event as an extremely important step as they seek to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste created during the servicing of hotel linens.

Currently, single use plastic wrapping is used by laundries when transporting clean bedroom linen back to hotels. This generates about 100 tonnes of plastic a week, which is equivalent to 300 tonnes of carbon throughout its lifecycle. As only 9% of plastic waste is currently recycled, removing this from the bedroom linen laundry chain would be a significant contribution towards increasing the sustainability of both laundry and hospitality industries.

The roundtable, which took place at the Crown Plaza NEC in Birmingham on 31st January 2023, included representatives from some of the UK’s largest laundry companies and hotel groups, as well as the TSA and UKHospitality (UKH). They discussed the importance of reducing the reliance on single use plastics as part of UKH’s push towards removing it completely by 2030, and how each sector needs to work with the other in order to achieve this.

The discussion resulted in the hospitality industry agreeing to support the laundry industry’s work to remove single use plastic from the processing of bed linen.

This will require investment from laundries to bring in appropriate cages and washable cage liners that will replace the single-use plastic wrapping, in order to maintain the high standards of hygiene demanded. This process will undoubtedly take time to complete, which is why it is important that this initiative is driven by both industries as a whole.

“Removing single use plastic from the bed linen supply chain will play a key role in our Net Zero strategy,” says Tony Sophoclides, Strategic Affairs Director for UKHospitality. “This meeting marks an important step on our journey to making the industry as sustainable as possible.”

David Stevens, CEO of the TSA, agrees. “An agreement like this would never have been reached even three years ago,” he says. “This shows how much views have changed on the need for companies to take large scale action on environmental matters.  Now we are all walking the walk!”

With this agreement in place, the TSA will continue to expand efforts to support its members transitioning away from single use plastics as part of its on-going investment in developing sustainable solutions.

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TSA gears up to providing bedding to The Big Hoose

Gordon Brown introduces new project at the TSA’s national congress

The Textile Services Association (TSA) is proud to announce that it will be supporting the new National Family Centre Bank project to supply clean bedding and towels to families experiencing hardship.

The project was introduced at the TSA’s national congress by former prime minister, and the project’s patron, Gordon Brown. It allows families access to a range of useful goods such as kitchen items, toilet rolls, nappies, clothing and footwear and other household furnishings and goods. These families are identified through practitioners such as teachers, doctors, and social workers. It is being developed by the Cottage Family Centre in Fife, where it is known as The Big Hoose project, and will begin being rolled out in cities across the UK.

While the project has deals with a number of different businesses, including Amazon UK, to supply most items from surplus stock, the new deal will allow them to provide bed linen like duvet and pillow covers. These will be second hand stock supplied by UK Hospitality members, which will be cleaned by TSA members before being sent to the Family Centre Bank’s warehouse for distribution to those in need.

As well as filling a gap in the provision offered by the project, it helps to reduce the amount of textile waste generated by hotels by giving them a second life.

During his address to congress, Gordon Brown was extremely enthusiastic about the potential not just to help those in need but also help to tackle pollution by reducing waste as well as boosting the economy, and thanked the laundries that have become involved with the project. Nearly 50,000 families have been helped since the project launched, with over 320,000 items distributed. Mr Brown will be helping the project as it expands to other areas of Scotland and across the UK.

Pauline Buchan, Strategic Director for the Cottage Family Centre and CEO of the National Family Centre Bank, told congress more about the work and gave details on how businesses can get involved.

David Stevens, CEO of the TSA, is clear about the importance and potential of the new project. “Ensuring families in need have bedding is a big priority for The Big Hoose project, especially during the current energy crisis,” he says. “Congress was told about families that have no heating and no bedding. The National Family Centre Bank is a fantastic project, and we can make a real difference to people’s lives.” David urges laundries and suppliers who are interested in supporting the project to contact the TSA for more information about future plans and how they can help.

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Update from the TSA

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