Laundry Cost Index: 2022/2023 FYQ3

The laundry industry committed to vital work of supporting mental health awareness

Promoting inclusion and wellbeing in the laundry industry “more important than ever”

Following on from very positive feedback from its first sessions, the Textile Services Association continues to champion the importance of mental health in the laundry industry by continuing its program of training aimed at helping develop awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

The first course of 2023 took place on the 23rd-24th of January and is aimed at providing line managers with an understanding of common mental health issues, and the knowledge they need to feel confident about advocating for mental health issues. Attendees will also be shown how to spot signs of mental ill health as well as skills to support positive wellbeing. All participants qualify as Mental Health First Aid Champions upon completion. The course became sold out very quickly, demonstrating the interest the laundry industry has in driving improvements in this area.

This will be followed up with another chance to take the Mental Health First Aider course. This is aimed at providing information and building confidence to help with identifying mental health issues and helping anyone experiencing them to get the help they need, as well as ways to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. “The TSA feels it is vitally important that it supports its members to help ensure their employees mental health is looked after,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “It’s brilliant that we now have more qualified mental health first aiders in the industry, and we hope more companies will be inspired to join this initiative.”

The first of the MHFA courses was also fully booked, and any TSA member interested in attending the next one is advised to register their interest now to ensure they are informed when bookings open.

Feedback from attendees from the first two courses held in 2022 was overwhelmingly positive. Responses include “I now feel confident to approach someone who I feel may be struggling,” and “It taught me skills that will allow me to assist or guide someone in difficulty.”

“The enthusiasm for these courses are a concrete demonstration of the laundry industry’s commitment to driving improvements in inclusion and wellbeing,” says David. “The industry is rightly proud of its successes in building out ways of supporting its employees, and the TSA will continue to find ways of providing the training and skills they need in order to continue doing so. We feel with the cost of living crisis and other pressures people are facing that this is more important than ever.”

For more information about future training events and to secure your place please visit the TSA’s website.

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


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Last call for the TSA National Congress 2023

Just a few tickets left for the Congress in February

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, 1 India Buildings Victoria Street, Edinburgh, February 8-9 2023

The TSA’s National Congress 2023 is close to fully booked – so if you’re a laundry owner or a senior executive and you’ve not got a ticket, it’s time to get a move on. Along with the opportunity to have your say and make a contribution, it’s a chance to network with the movers and shakers of the industry. In addition, there’s a strong and stimulating speaker programme that’s designed to give insight and to inspire.

The morning’s keynote address will be given by polling expert and political scientist Sir John Curtice, who the BBC describes as ‘the man who gets elections right.’  He is particularly interested in electoral behaviour and researching political and social attitudes.  He will take an authoritative and perceptive look at how the current political scene is affecting our industry, focusing on ‘Brexit: Where Do We Stand Now?’, with special reference to the labour market. 

Diversity consultant Rob Adediran will talk about building an inclusive organisation.  Rob is an advocate for inclusive leadership in education and in business. He currently works at the Royal Academy of Engineering overseeing, amongst other things, the development of a diversity and inclusion mechanism for the UK engineering sector.

Meanwhile Dr Katie Laird of De Montfort University (DMU) will unveil the latest information on the university’s joint work with the TSA.  Katie is head of the Infectious Disease Research Group at DMU and will provide an update on the processing methodology around the specific items required for residential care and nursing homes.  Her presentation will be based on the DMU/TSA care home survey, looking at its ramifications for the laundry industry, and how we can help this vulnerable sector.

TSA CEO David Stevens and the TSA team will give an update on the Association’s other activities, including the Infinite Textiles project.  They’ll take a look at the challenges the industry faces and the latest thinking in terms of solutions and opportunities. 

The 2023 Congress is at the luxury Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, which is situated in the landmark India buildings in the old town, and marries iconic Victorian architecture with distinctive, contemporary design.  TSA has reserved a number of rooms available for delegates on the 8th of February, for those attending the informal dinner, and 9th of February, when the industry dinner will be held in Greyfriars Hall.   

For booking information contact the TSA’s event coordinator, Emily Macdonald, by email,, or call 020 3151 5600.

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


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Energy crisis: the TSA needs YOU to be part of the laundry lobby

TSA asks laundries to support lobbying by writing to their MP

If the energy support ends in March, commercial laundries are in for a very rough ride. The TSA is lobbying government to continue to provide support after March, and it is calling on commercial laundry owners and executives to write to their local MPs to really push the message home.

“We are writing to the PM, Chancellor and BEIS,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “But we can be much more effective if individual MPs are raising questions about our predicament, too. That’s where individual laundries can help – by persuading their MPs to take up the cause.”

The TSA has put together a letter template to help laundries willing to add their name to the cause. “It’s not just who you write to, it’s what you write,” says Stevens. “The letters need to include information about how your laundry impacts on the MP’s constituency – we need to make them understand just how important our industry is. Do you supply a hospital in the constituency? Mention it – and point out that without the support of commercial laundries, 90% of hospitals would have to shut down.”

The template gives suggestions as to what other things to include to maximise impact. For example, if the MP is interested in the environment, then include a mention of the industry’s Infinite Textiles project.

“We’re all in this together. If enough laundries write to their MPs, we can really stir things up. We have a strong argument for support – let’s make sure government gets the message!” says Stevens.

You can access the TSA’s letter template below:

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


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TSA urges government to consider “big picture” when helping hospitality industry

Bold action needs to be taken to safeguard future economic recovery

The Textile Services Association (TSA) is supporting UK Hospitality’s call for government support to help the hospitality industry bounce back from the effects of Covid-19, and is highlighting the importance of including the laundry industry as part of any future solution.

The hospitality industry is extremely important to the UK’s economy, employing 3 million people and generating over £130 billion of economic activity a year. The pandemic caused approximately £100 billion in lost sales in the industry, and saw businesses accrue £8 billion in debt. The laundry industry, which plays a vital role in keeping the hospitality industry running, missed out on government support during this time. While the effects of the pandemic are diminishing, the danger to the industry remains, thanks to the combination of the cost of living crisis and ongoing staff shortages.

UK Hospitality has put together a suggested list of measures the government should implement to enable businesses to survive in this uncertain environment. These are based around three areas: tackling inflation, unleashing hospitality’s potential for growth, and boosting productivity by reforming taxation and investment.  The TSA stresses that many of these suggestions should apply equally to supporting sectors, like laundry, that operate within hospitality’s value chain. “We fully support UK Hospitality’s stand and hope the government will truly consider the interconnected nature of our industries,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “The lack of help laundries received during the pandemic has undoubtedly slowed the rate of recovery, as well as seeding potential future problems further down the line if left unchecked,”

The measures that would particularly help the laundry industry make small, time-based changes on the Points Based System for immigration; changes to business rates; and changing the Apprenticeship Levy to allow 25% of funds to be used for non-apprenticeship training.

“UK PLC has gone through some tough times in the last few years, but the danger isn’t over yet,” says David. “Hospitality – and therefore laundry – play a key role in the UK’s economy, so the government needs to take action that helps not just the front facing industries but all the businesses that support them, too.”

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Update from the TSA

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Creating maps for a sustainable laundry industry

TSA Autumn conference hears latest updates on the progress of vital project

The Textile Services Association’s (TSA) autumn conference saw Christoph Geppert from Grain Sustainability give a presentation updating members on the progress of the TSA’s ongoing sustainability roadmap project.

Grain is a consultancy that is working with the TSA to establish higher standards for the laundry industry for sustainability to ensure it is ready to meet the coming challenges of implementing Net Zero Carbon targets.

In order to achieve this, Grain and the TSA are undertaking extensive research, interviewing stakeholders throughout the industry as well as scientists and suppliers. Christoph’s presentation examined some of the responses to the interviews, which give a snapshot of the state of the industry’s attitudes to sustainability and the concerns surrounding it.

Two of the biggest issues currently facing the industry are staffing shortages and the ongoing impacts of Brexit and the pandemic. Christoph summarised from the interviews, “We are still in recovery, sustainability can easily get put on the back burner unless we are intentional about it.” Without downplaying the difficulties the industry is currently facing, he confirmed the importance of looking for ways to improve long term sustainability whilst, at the same time, securing the survival of businesses, and how these aims can complement each other.

The importance of improving the working environment for staff was also examined, and Christoph stressed the importance of including factors like wellbeing, diversity and inclusion as part of any sustainability roadmap. “The work environment has to be a place where people want to be,” he said.

Christoph then outlined the next step in the process, which will be to gather accurate data on the extent of emissions produced by the textile services industry as well as throughout its supply chain. Customers have started to ask for this, so ensuring that the processes are in place to have these insights is very important.

In order to help with this, the TSA and Grain are creating guides on how to record this data accurately. This will help to identify areas with the greatest potential to reduce emissions. Christoph pointed out that the laundry industry has some inherent advantages that allow it to be a leader in sustainability. “Progress is already being made,” he said. “Some laundries have stopped using single use plastics for linen, for example. This is just one of the ways that being an inherently circular industry can help, as it allows you to rethink processes all along the supply chain and find more efficient ways of doing things.”

Once the assessment stage is complete, Grain and the TSA will begin to develop an overarching strategy for creating goals, targets and KPIs to clearly structure the Net Zero implementation process.

Christoph was optimistic that the industry would be able to achieve its goals. “This is a big opportunity to help a range of industries, not just laundry but textiles as a whole, as well as hospitality and other sectors that rely on them. We will be able to pool knowledge and build a proactive strategy that will work to protect businesses and the environment for future generations.

“Much of the laundry industry is already making very positive moves to reduce its energy consumption and emissions,” he said. “The good news is that laundries simply need to do more of what they are already doing!”

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


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Laundry And Hospitality Industries Confident They Can Meet The Challenges Ahead

Laundry and hospitality industries restate the importance of collaboration at the TSA conference

The importance of collaboration was one of the main messages to come out of the hospitality round table panel discussion held at the Textile Services Association’s (TSA) autumn conference.

The event brought together representatives of some of the biggest names in both the laundry and hospitality sectors to discuss the issues facing both industries and the potential for positive change in an uncertain business environment. It is the third such event that has been held this year, which provides a forum for both industries to discuss the challenges ahead.

The panel was chaired by David Stevens, the CEO of the TSA, and featured Nigel Graham of Bourne Leisure, and Michael Simpson-Jones of Travelodge representing hospitality. Helen Wood of Johnsons Hotel Linen and Rona Tait of TDS Commercial were there to provide the views from the laundry industry.

One of the main concerns highlighted at the previous meetings was the need to improve the working life span of linen used by hotels. Only a small percentage of the 7000 tonnes of linen purchased every year by the hospitality sector reaches its potential end-of-life.

Since the previous round table, the TSA has set up a project group looking at creating guidance around best practice for linen and the logistics needed to maximise its working life for the hospitality industry. Nigel Graham who is a part of this group, explained the importance of the two industries working together to develop knowledge of the significance of valuing linen and understanding the challenges both industries face.

Rona Tait, who chairs the group, explained that many housekeepers don’t understand the importance of linen from a sustainability perspective, stressing the need for better training.

Helen Wood underlined the point that any approach to improving the sustainability of hotel linen needs to be done as a partnership. “You don’t hire a car and damage it without expecting to pay for it,” she said. “But we need to avoid playing the blame game and realise that we can’t solve this situation on our own – we need to work together.”

Michael believes that having a relationship where both sides feel confident about discussing common issues and being open to change is vital. “We need to make sure that both industries stick to their commitments and consider the supply chain as a whole.”

From left To Right, Rona Tait of TDS Commercial, Michael Simpson-Jones of Travelodge and, at the lectern, David Stevens of the TSA

The last couple of years have seen both industries cope with challenging business environments, but while 2023 looks likely to see problems continue both industries are optimistic that they are well placed to weather the storm. “The UK’s holiday industry has historically held up well during economic downturns,” says Nigel. However, as people tend to book hotels close to when they need them, hotels need to be quick to react with demand forecasting to enable laundries to be able to keep up with the demand as it changes.

This is particularly true as there are potentially different variables at play with the rising cost pressures many consumers are facing and how that will play out next year. While Rona noted that she had seen volumes from hotels hold up, Helen noted that there was a difference across hotel groups and that this indicated that consumers were changing their behaviour.

The panel agreed that one of the main positives that came out of the pandemic was that it had acted as a “catalyst for change” and that it had provided the momentum for both industries to come together and work to improve things. “We wouldn’t have had these conversations before Covid,” Rona explained. “We are now seen as more of a critical supplier,” said Helen. “There is a different partnership now, it has definitely raised the bar.”

As Michael summed it up, “every challenge brings new opportunities.”

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How Hazardous Are Nurses’ Uniforms? DMU And TSA Call For Change In NHS Guidance

‘World class’ research shows domestic washing machines are inadequate decontaminators

Over 700,000 nurses in the UK wash their uniforms at home. The figure is even higher when you take into account other healthcare workers. The NHS encourages nurses to maintain and care for healthcare workwear at home, even where outsourcing to a commercial laundry is available. However, new research carried out be De Montfort University (DMU), supported by the Textile Services Association (TSA), suggests that this practice is hazardous, proving that some domestic machines are not up to the task of decontaminating clothes. Now DMU and TSA are calling on the NHS to change the guidance.

The research (Variable decontamination efficacy of domestic washing machines: potential risks for home laundering of healthcare uniforms) was carried out by DMU’s Infectious Disease Research Group, with funding from the TSA. It was presented at the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) Conference in October 2022.

The aim of the research was to assess the ability of home washing machines to meet the minimum disinfection standards set by the NHS in HTM 01-04 (Decontamination of linen for health and social care, updated 31/08/2021).  Six different domestic models were used, of different ages and manufacturers, to ensure the ‘real world’ authenticity of the testing.  In addition, DMU and TSA developed an accurate methodology that is able to validate the ability of a washing process to disinfect textile products – especially those used in healthcare, food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and other sectors where there is a need for high-care textile maintenance.

The results confirmed the inadequacy of domestic washing machines to consistently achieve the essential requirements of heat, chemistry and mechanical action required for decontamination.   NHS Guidelines recommend that healthcare workers launder their uniforms at 60C.  In fact, in the tests, none of the machines actually got up to 60C, either on standard or rapid wash programmes.  It shows that healthcare workers taking their uniforms home to wash cannot be confident, at the end of the wash, that their uniform has been fully disinfected.  This leaves their households under risk of cross contamination from pathogens that they may bring home from work.

“The TSA has always argued that nurses’ uniforms should be washed professionally,” says David Stevens, CEO at the TSA.  “PHE (Public Health England) and other departments have said there was not enough evidence to prove the inadequacy of domestic washing machines.

“Well, there is now.  And it’s based on world-class research from some of the most respected names in the field of infectious diseases.”

TSA believes that the NHS will have to change its polices in the light of the research.  “The need to change is even more pressing given the huge rise in energy prices,” says Stevens.  “HMRC policies allow healthcare workers to be given allowances to launder unforms at home.  But these no longer cover the costs, so they are out of pocket as well.”

Moreover, TSA believes the required shift in management practices will be good news for the NHS.  “Washing in commercial laundries, whether on site or outsourced, will result not only in safer homes and workplaces, but also offer the NHS significant efficiencies and economies of scale,” says Stevens.

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TSA Urges Further Action From Government To Guarantee Future Of Laundry Industry

Long term plans are required to prevent vital industry missing out on essential support

The Textile Services Association (TSA) is highlighting the concerns of its members regarding the rise in energy prices and the potentially disastrous effects they could have on the UK’s hospitality industry over the coming year. These issues have been highlighted by the results of two surveys the TSA conducted on the views of its members in August and September 2022 and demonstrate the need for continued action on top of the six month emergency price cap for businesses announced in the emergency budget.

The first survey took place in August and was focussed on the post Covid recovery in business.  The results showed signs of optimism but also indicated some ongoing issues. It indicated that 83% of commercial laundries have returned to or increased their pre-pandemic turnover, and 79% anticipated turnover to be on a similar trajectory in 2023. However, 79% reported issues with supply chains, in particular difficulties with equipment, spare parts and linen.

The second survey was taken in early September, before the energy price cap was announced. It aimed to take a snapshot of the concerns of the laundry regarding the increasing costs of energy. 85% of responding laundries service a range of essential and influential sectors, including healthcare, education, hospitality and critical manufacturing among others. The majority of respondents have already seen energy prices increasing anywhere from 200 to 500% since 2019, and many were anticipating further increases between 300-600% for 2023.

“While the government’s announcement of a six month price cap will undoubtedly help laundries throughout the winter months, the price increases that have already taken place are having a huge impact on many of them,” says David Stevens, CEO of TSA. “We feel that further steps are necessary to prevent real problems when the current scheme ends.”

The laundry industry is vital to the UK’s hospitality sector but, as it is a hidden part of the supply chain, it has often been overlooked for government support during the crises of the last few years. “The government needs to take a big picture view of these situations,” says Stevens. “The laundry industry needs to be included as one of the sectors that receives further support once the six months is up. We cannot wait half a year to find out what is happening – we need a clear long term support strategy now, to allow us to plan for the future.”

“We are encouraged by the signs that MPs are increasingly aware of the importance of laundries to the UK economy as a whole,” says David. “We will continue to lobby on behalf of our members, and the whole commercial laundry industry, but we need to see hard evidence that the government has also understood the message”

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