Why Textiles Win in the Long Run

Sustainability performance of table linen as compared to disposables


This new report was developed by the Swedish Textile Service Association in partnership with the TSA and other NA’s including the European Textile Services Association (ETSA), the Belgian Association for Textile Care (FBT), and TRSA USA. The report examines published literature on hygienic and sustainability performance of reusable textile-based table linens and the single-use disposable table covering used in the service industry (largely hotels and restaurants). 



Summary from Report

The report examines the performance of two alternative types of table linen used in hotels and restaurants: textiles (product-as-service through professional textile services) and disposable paper products.

The investigation focuses on hygienic standards in cleaned and ironed linen, as well as the environmental performance and economic contribution to the society/creation of jobs, as these represent a social, ecologic and economic dimension which are the three pillars of sustainability. The report has an emphasis on four countries: UK, Belgium, Sweden and the US.

The present study shows that:

  • The hygiene performance of textile table linen is equal to disposable table linen. Consumers do not see textiles as a relevant path for contamination from COVID-19.
  • Using updated methods in the use of energy and water in washing of laundry decreases the climate impact from the use of textiles to only half of the impact generated by disposables.
  • Different from the linear business model of disposables, the circular business model is applied when textile table linen passes through a large number of washing cycles, jobs are created on a local scale. Each job created in textile service industry creates another 0.25 indirect and induced jobs.

To read and download the full report, please click on the following button: 

If you have any queries or would like any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

T: +44 (0)20 3151 5600
E: tsa@tsa-uk.org

TSA joins BCC in move to benefit and strengthen both associations

Textile Services Association is warmly welcomed to BCC membership

The voice of the cleaning and hygiene industry will be heard more loudly

The Textile Services Association (TSA) has joined the British Cleaning Council (BCC) as an associate member.

The TSA represents commercial laundries in several sectors and textile rental businesses serving the hotel and hospitality, healthcare and workwear markets.  The textile care services industry contributes over £1.3 billion in GVA and supports some 28,000 jobs in the UK economy.  It has become the 22nd member of the BCC, in a move which benefits and strengthens both organisations.

BCC chair Paul Thrupp said, “I am delighted that the TSA has joined the BCC and I very warmly welcome them.  Working together with the TSA makes the BCC and the whole cleaning and hygiene sector that much stronger.  It is important that the cleaning and hygiene sector pulls together to present a unified front if we are to make our collective voice heard as loudly as possible.

“Textile services is a significant sector of the economy. There are also considerable synergies with the cleaning and hygiene sector as represented by our members, particularly in the health and hospitality sectors.  The TSA’s work lobbying the Government to move towards multi-use gowns for healthcare is something that dovetails well with the work of our members on the environmental agenda and their work on skills also supports our drive to create an accredited training and apprenticeship.

“We have many issues of mutual interest and I look forward to collaborating in the future. “

The TSA represents commercial laundries in several sectors and textile rental businesses serving the hotel and hospitality, healthcare and workwear markets.

TSA CEO David Stevens said, “We are delighted to join the BCC and work collectively with so many like-minded organisations.  We have so many harmonised agenda points I think the collective power of the BCC can really help drive these topics to some of the key decision makers in Government.  I see real benefits for our membership and improved momentum on some of our key project areas such as training, linen recycling and energy efficiency incentives, including the climate change agreement.

“An individual trade association can find it difficult to get space on the lobbying platform.  Working with the BCC will be a great way of sharing and supporting a single message, benefitting all members.”

If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.

TSA Knowledge Network Open Day

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The TSA responds to the budget: commercial laundries are left in jeopardy

David Stevens, CEO of the TSA comments on the budget:

Commercial Laundries are Left in Jeopardy


Of course it’s good that the furlough scheme has been extended to September.  We’re happy that the Chancellor has also announced a new recovery loan scheme, the investment incentives are a definite plus so there are some positives.

Having said that, we’re very disappointed that the Chancellor didn’t see fit to expand the recovery net.  Commercial laundries are still in this enormous black hole outside of the government’s support bubble.  We aren’t eligible for business rates relief or for recovery grants, VAT reductions and so the list goes on.  We will see minimum wages increase at a time when we will be struggling to pay any wages!

Yet again the service support sector has been totally overlooked despite being part of and dependent on the hospitality industry who have been receiving support throughout the pandemic – it’s simply not fair.  This is not a good budget for our industry.

With support we could survive. Without it, commercial laundries, and the 24,000 people they employ, remain in real jeopardy. 




If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.

TSA Knowledge Network Open Day

We were delighted to announce the date of TSA’s Knowledge Network Open Day in our January and February TSA CEO updates. 17th March 2021 will be packed full of great topics and panel discussions all through the day. The 2020 KN Open Day was the last in-person event we were able to host before the lockdown. We hope to carry on the same enthusiasm and engagement this year as well. The virtual event provides us with flexible options where we can invite targeted audience for the topic of their interest at specific time slots. We will also have a TSA web landing page where you will see all the details and registration links. We hope to cover topics such as Managing CTWs Safely, Healthcare Processing Standards, Energy Efficiency, Diversity, Apprenticeship etc.

Please share this with your colleagues and teams for whom the topics below may be of interest.

Please note, WebEx has changed their registration form slightly, therefore when you have clicked the registration button below for your chosen session, please ignore the meeting password and click straight on the blue register button as show in the image below. If you have any issues registering, please call Emma on 0754 322 0302.

Day Programme and How to Register:

Time and Topics

9:15am (20 mins)
Opening Session (relevant to all):

• Welcome
• Technical & Projects Updates
• Future projects
• Current projects
Register Here
Time and Topics
Who is it For?

9:45am (60 mins)
Health & Safety:

• Latest Statistics
• CTW Management
• TSA Resources
• Managing Covid-19 related H&S claims
• Q&A Session (TSA Steering Group)

Senior Managers
Transport Managers
Engineer / Managers
Health & Safety Teams
Production Managers
General Managers
Register Here

11:00am (60 mins)
Driving the Healthcare Standards

• Implementing BS EN 14065
• Preparing for certification
• New Opportunities

Quality Managers
Production Managers
General Managers
Business Development Managers
Register Here

12:30pm (40 mins)
Circular Economy – End-of-Life Textiles (Recycling)

• Why do this project?
• TSA Survey results
• Logistics (Circletex?)
• Marketing the key messages

Senior Managers
Quality Managers
Transport Managers
Marketing Managers
Register Here

2:00pm (45 mins)
Energy Efficiency

• Climate Change Targets (Jacobs)
• Grant funding / Carbon Trust
• Energy audits
• Latest technologies

Engineer / Managers
Energy Procurement Teams
Production Managers
General Managers
Register Here

3:00pm (30 mins)
Inclusion and Diversity

• Women in the industry
• Diversity
• Mental Health

HR Directors
Change Managers
Senior Managers
Register Here

3:45pm (45 mins)

• Role of TSA’s Trailblazer group
• Online training delivery
• End point assessment

Senior Managers
Training Managers
HR Managers
Register Here


As mentioned, please forward this on to your colleagues and teams for whom the topics above may be of interest. Each session is going to be managed separate to one another. You are free to attend all the sessions. However, the day programme is designed for the attendees to be selective.

We look forward to seeing you there.

If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.

Lincoln laundry calls for government action; “Laundries are getting short shrift”

“The future recovery is being put at risk” – the government is failing commercial laundries

Lincoln Laundry highlights holes in government support of hospitality industry

Lincoln Laundry, based in North Hykeham, Lincoln, is a family run business employing 15 people that provides high quality laundry services for a range of industries, including hotels, restaurants and catering, education and healthcare, as well as supplying workwear and a range of specialist services. Its experience of the Covid-19 pandemic is that of many commercial laundries, having been denied much of the financial support provided to other industries. “The government says it understands the importance of the hospitality industry, but it’s leaving the businesses that support the industry to their own devices,” says Ahmed Hassan, director of Lincoln Laundry. “And the longer it goes on, the harder it gets.”

Lincoln Laundry is a member of the Textile Services Association (TSA), which has been increasingly concerned by the reports of its members at the lack of support they are entitled to.  With 24,000 people being employed by the industry, decisive action is required to save those jobs. The TSA has been lobbying the Government for more help alongside organisations such as UKHospitality. 

Like many of the businesses that have come forward to provide evidence for the TSA’s argument, Lincoln Laundry is a victim of circumstance. “In early March 2020 we had just finished moving into new premises,” says Ahmed. “We needed the extra space to help continue growing the business, although there were expenses with preparing the building and buying new equipment, we were well positioned to have a good year.”

But when lockdown was introduced at the end of March, all their customers closed and business dried up. The move to new premises had put them just over the threshold for higher rates. While Lincoln Laundry has been able to access the furlough scheme to help pay staff, they have been left out of the other measures put in place to help the hospitality industry, like rate relief and grants. “The government hasn’t been looking at the big picture,” says Ahmed. “They’re responding to the loudest voices in the room, but they’re not providing any help to the sectors that support the businesses that are getting financial aid.”

The local authority has done what it can, but “their hands are being tied by the government, with no room to consider cases like us.” With no rates relief, the business has had to go on a payment plan. “Our fixed costs don’t change whether we’re open or closed.  With 95% of our customers closed, we burned through our reserves just keeping things ticking over in the first lockdown,” says Ahmed. “No business can hold a full year’s income in reserve! Things looked up during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August, but slowed up immediately after.” With the second lockdown started in November, and the post-Christmas lockdown once again shutting its customers, Lincoln Laundry has seen its income shrink to almost nothing.

“The lockdown has also meant a lot of our debtors aren’t able to repay what they already owe, and we’ve seen a few customers go bust already. It all adds to the pressure – we’ve had to put in considerable amounts of our personal savings.  It’s been enormously stressful but we’re doing everything we can to ensure we’ll be able to continue supporting our customers when they begin reopening, as well as saving the jobs of our staff,” says Ahmed. “They’re like family to us, some of them have worked here for years and the depth of experience they have is a huge part of our success. They would be impossible to replace.”

Commercial laundries have always played an important (if hidden) role in the hospitality and foodservice industries.  With the increased focus on hygiene and cleanliness, as a result of the measures required to control the spread of Covid-19, laundries will be vital for a smooth recovery when lockdown restrictions are able to be relaxed. “We know we’ve got a viable business once things start opening up,” says Ahmed. “But the longer we’re left to look after ourselves, the harder it’s going to be to survive.

“In Scotland and Wales a much higher percentage of laundries are getting help, but in England supply chain businesses like us are being abandoned. Central government sets the rules, and the local authorities’ hands are tied. We did qualify for a small grant in November, but that barely made a dent in our costs, and barely even covered our rates for the month,” says Ahmed. “Even when we do reopen, our customers work on a 60 day cycle to pay their contractors, so it will take nearly two months before we get paid again.  Not having a sensible policy in place to support businesses like Lincoln Laundry is going to put the wider hospitality industry in a less stable place at a critical time.”

The TSA has been working with other trade associations to urge the government to provide the same level of help to commercial laundries supplying the hospitality industry that other businesses in the sector have been receiving. This includes amending guidance given to local authorities on discretionary grants, allowing more commercial laundries to qualify for rates relief, deferment of VAT until payback is viable, extending the terms of government loans until laundries can afford to repay them, and making more loans available during the bounce back.

“At the end of the day, we’re just asking for fairer treatment. Many businesses in other industries have been getting huge grants while they haven’t even had to close, but companies like us, in the supply chain, have seen 95% of business stop for a year, and we’re getting short shrift,” says Ahmed. “The government knows how important the hospitality and service industries will be to the future recovery of the country, but as it is they’re creating more problems by not supporting the supply chain that supports the industry.  If the supply chain goes under, the hospitality industry won’t be able to function.” 

If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.

“Our business is crumbling before our eyes” – Wimbledon laundry speaks out on what lack of support is doing to the industry

Lack of response is making a tough situation worse, says director of Dash Linen

Dash Linen of Wimbledon, a family business with over thirty years of experience, operates a bespoke, high quality laundry service for a wide range of restaurants in London and the surrounding area. Like many commercial laundries it has been left to cope with the reduction in their business caused by the Covid-19 pandemic with no financial assistance from the government, putting the future of an industry that plays a key role in the hospitality sector at risk.  “We’ve been watching our business crumble before our eyes,” says Edward Syed, director of Dash Linen. 

The Textile Services Association (TSA) is once again amplifying its concerns about the government’s continued lack of support for businesses within the hospitality supply chain. The vital role commercial laundries play in keeping hotels, restaurants and a range of hospitality businesses running is being overlooked, and could disrupt the expected recovery.

The TSA has been urging the government to provide the same level of help to commercial laundries supplying the hospitality industry that other businesses in the sector have been receiving. That includes rates relief; amending the guidance to local authorities on discretionary grants, so that commercial laundries can be included; deferment of VAT until payback is viable; extending the terms of government loans until laundries can afford to repay them; and making more loans available during the bounce back.

The experience of Dash Linen is typical of the stories the TSA has been hearing from its members since the first lockdown began last March.  “The majority of our customers have been closed since the first lockdown,” says Edward. “We’ve lost a few altogether, as they change their operation, and some have gone bankrupt owing us money. It’s a difficult situation for everyone but it’s not being made better by the government’s scattershot approach to which businesses receive help and which don’t.”

The lack of support has already caused staff redundancies. “Before the pandemic we were employing 63 people. We had to make 14 people redundant in June 2020 after our request for grants was turned down, and since then another five have left of their own accord,” says Edward. “We’ve had a very low staff turnover, normally. Some of our staff have worked with us for over 20 years – it’s a very difficult situation. And needless to say, making everyone redundant would put us in an even worse situation.”

During the period where restrictions were eased, Edward noticed a significant drop in business compared to before the pandemic. “We used to be working six days a week. But at that time, despite the hospitality sector opening up, it was down to two.”

Edward thinks the relative invisibility of the hospitality laundry industry might be behind the government’s lack of response. “Very few people know how many businesses rely on commercial laundries,” he explains. “If you look at every piece of linen in a restaurant, or every piece of cloth in a hotel, it will be regularly cleaned by a laundry. But this is a hidden side to these industries.  The importance of ensuring that supply companies like us, who are vital to keep other companies running, are receiving the right help isn’t getting through to the right people.

“We’ve built this company up through hard work, and while we’ve never been eager to claim money from the government it’s in situations like this, where almost all of our customers have had to stop operating, that we really need the support – and we’ve just been ignored,” says Edward. “It feels particularly unfair considering the reports of how much money has been going to giant chains that haven’t been particularly affected by Covid-19.”

Without support, it is difficult for companies like Dash Linen to plan for the future. “At the beginning of December 2020 we were thinking that we might at least have an idea of how long it would take to get back to normality, but then we were put into Tier Four and lockdown and it seems like the government is still playing everything by ear, hoping things will somehow just work themselves out.”

Keeping the company going during these trying times has been difficult, and has caused a lot of stress for Edward and his family. “Dad started this business, built it up from nothing,” says Edward. “Seeing something that you’ve invested so much of your life into put at threat through no fault of your own, of following the government’s rules and then being left out to dry, has been really tough for him, and me too.”

Edward hopes that the government looks again at its rules and reconsiders the limits in place for which companies are eligible for assistance. “At a minimum, we need rate relief for at least a year,” he says. “But the council keeps deferring making a decision about it. Similarly, eligibility for support from local authorities is set by how much rates you pay. We moved above the cut-off point by just £1000 at the end of 2019 after investing in a larger building, but it’s marginal and it doesn’t change the fact that hardly any of our customers have been operating for almost a year.

“The hospitality supply chain is being overlooked by the government, and it’s putting a lot of companies at risk. This will only cause yet more problems further down the line: without us, much of the hospitality industry can’t operate.  I just hope that the government realises its responsibility to SMEs in this sector before it’s too late.”

For more about Dash Linen visit dashlinen.co.uk

If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.


Final nail in coffin as government continues to ignore hospitality laundries

 “Dire.”  That’s the current state of the commercial laundries servicing the hospitality market, according to the Textile Services Association (TSA). 24,000 jobs in hospitality laundries are on the line and, despite repeated calls for help, the government has done little or nothing.

Now there’s a new fear – killer cash flow.  It works like this: in March, the hospitality market starts opening up with the so-called bounce back.  Laundries come back on line to service hotels, leisure centres and restaurants.  In March and April the laundries have work, but they also have costs, from day one: wages, fuel, transport and so on.  But at this stage, no money is coming in.  Why?  Because the accepted model for most hospitality laundries is to invoice at the end of month – and then they typically get paid on around 60 days.

And that’s the point at which many hospitality laundry businesses will get the final nail in their coffin.

“Government inaction is driving the industry into the ground,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “We’re not asking for special treatment, we just want the support that other businesses are getting.  Rates relief would be a start.  Amending the guidance to local authorities on discretionary grants, so that we can be included.  Deferment of VAT until payback is viable.  Extending the terms of government loans until we can afford to repay them, and making more available during bounce back.

“Cash: that, in a word, is what we need.”

The TSA fought long and hard to get laundries included in the government support schemes.  It finally achieved success when it was announced that companies that supplied the hospitality sector, and relied on it for most of their business, would be eligible for discretionary grants from the local authority.  “Now that ‘success’ feels like a kick in the teeth,” says Stevens.   “We’re just not getting anywhere.  Virtually every laundry that has applied has been turned down.

“Yet again our industry is being ignored.  We are part of the hospitality sector and will not survive without support.  What’s it going to take to get some action?  Another 24,000 people on the dole?”

If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on  020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.


TSA warns that lack of support puts thousands of laundry workers’ jobs at risk

Rishi Sunak has forgotten the hospitality laundry industry yet again.  Still no support.  Despite determined lobbying by the Textile Services Association (TSA) including, most recently, an open letter asking – pleading – the chancellor to think again. The commercial laundries that service the hospitality sector, employing around 28,000 people, have been left to sink or swim.

The TSA, which represents the UK’s commercial hospitality laundry industry, is once again calling on the government to help before many of its members are forced out of business for good. 

“The government is not learning,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “Or perhaps it doesn’t care.  The first national lockdown nearly destroyed the commercial laundries who service the hospitality industry.  They had virtually no help from the government as they were deemed ineligible for rate rebates and hospitality grants, so apart from the furlough scheme, which is ending, they were left on their own.  The new Job Support Scheme won’t help, either – with business volumes down by 70% or more, hospitality laundries can hardly afford to pay staff to work, let alone pay them NOT to work.

“Our industry is on its knees, and the government is just turning its back on us.” 

The situation hospitality laundries find themselves in is aggravated by the fact that, encouraged by the government, many borrowed money to see them through the summer.  Money which they have to pay back at some point.  But Covid-19 is still here and their business volumes are dropping again as local lockdowns are getting more widespread. 

The TSA has called for extensions to the furlough scheme or grant support for those businesses that supply the hospitality sector in lockdown areas.  “Without help, they will go under,” says Stevens. “Tens of thousands of jobs are at risk if the government does not take immediate action to support our industry.” 

If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on  020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.

Rest Assured: UK Laundries Pledge to Hospitality Industry

TSA works with UK Hospitality on laundry advice in a Covid-19 world

UK laundries are working hard to support the re-emerging hospitality market by establishing new protocols for a Covid-19 world.  The Textile Services Association (TSA) has worked with UK Hospitality to produce the Rest Assured Pledge, a package of advice, guidance and certification that is designed to help hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities ensure the safe handling of linen and textiles.

Key to the successful reopening of the hospitality sector is making customers feel safe and secure.  That’s why the Pledge includes a Rest Assured certificate that TSA laundries can give to hospitality operators to display, verifying that their linens and towels have been hygienically cleaned.  There are various versions of the certificate, for different sectors. 

The Pledge includes a 16-point coronavirus briefing for operators, which covers a wide range of topics.  They include the basics, like keeping clean and dirty linen segregated; the practical, such as storing soiled linen for collection on a ground floor, near to an external exit but away from public foot flow; and the advanced, including dealing with dirty linen of a guest who develops Covid-19 symptoms. 

As you’d expect, the Pledge also includes a pledge, which covers the protocols that TSA member laundries will follow to ensure not only that textiles are cleaned to the highest standards, but also that they are handled safely.  They include:

  • An overarching commitment to deliver the highest industry standards
  • Sanitisation of textiles, using chemicals and/or temperature
  • Protection of cleaned linen after washing
  • Regular disinfection of laundry transport cages
  • Delivery vehicles regularly deep-cleaned inside and out
  • All laundry plants compliant with Working Safely Guidelines – Covid Secure

“Going forward, it’s critical that laundries and hospitality operators are able to meet new operational procedures to protect staff and customers,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “Hospitality needs laundries, and laundries need the hospitality industry.  We are two sides of the same coin and we are stronger together.  The Rest Assured Pledge will help us meet the challenges of the new normal.”

The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry. The TSA represent commercial laundry and textile rental businesses. Membership ranges from family-run operations through to large, multi-national companies. If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on  020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.