The situation is getting better; meanwhile Association works with CBI to lobby government

The Textile Services Association (TSA) has wholeheartedly celebrated the bounce back of the hospitality industry, saying that commercial laundries have seen a dramatic increase in demand.  However, it has warned that while the recovery is welcomed, it is bringing supply issues.  Consequently it has partnered with UKHospitality to issue advice for hospitality operators covering some temporary actions they can consider to alleviate the pressure on their laundry provider.

“The problem is that we’ve been asked to jump from dead slow to full speed overnight,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “To be fair, we’ve been warning that there could be issues for several months.  The total lack of government support for the laundry industry means some of our members are really struggling with staffing, the shortage of drivers, supply chain issues, capacity issues due to operating covid-secure factories, and so on.”  

Here is the TSA’s advice on temporary actions hospitality operators can take to support their laundry providers:

  • Talk to your laundry provider to consider how to manage the situation and temporarily reduce your linen requirements. For example: 

            Encourage multi-night stays 

            Review bed change policy 

            Reduce linen required for room make up  

  • Sell up to the occupancy levels your laundry supplier can deliver linen at 
  • Send back any unused stock 
  • Keep the laundry informed of upstream occupancy levels 
  • Give plenty of notice for events and F&B requirements, such as weddings 
  • Understand some laundries may have cash flow issues; prompt payment may really help
  • If possible, give the laundry time to adapt to the increase in demand

The TSA says that the laundry supply issues are not being felt throughout the UK – some regions have been able to get up to speed more quickly than others.   

“Where supply issues do exist, we expect the situation to improve rapidly over the coming weeks,” says Stevens.  “With good communication and cooperation, we expect laundries to recover quickly.  We are incredibly grateful for the hospitality industry’s understanding during this difficult time.”

In common with many other sectors, especially the hospitality industry, laundries are struggling with staffing issues – a combination of problems created by both the pandemic and Brexit.  The TSA is working with the CBI to lobby government to get laundry operatives to be added to the Shortage Occupations List.

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

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

Hygienically Clean: TSA and UKHospitality Campaign to Help Hospitality Re-Open Safely

Research shows laundering kills Covid-19 – but effective soiled/clean segregation is essential

As the hospitality industry comes to terms with the latest advice on hygiene and Covid-19, the TSA (Textile Service Association) has updated its Hygienically Clean Linen campaign.  The TSA represents commercial laundries serving hospitality and the campaign is being run in association with UKHospitality.  The two associations have established joint guidelines designed to help hotels, restaurants and other sites that use a laundry service, or have an onsite laundry, to understand the latest advice and regulations.

The campaign also includes marketing materials that will help operators allay any concerns that their guests and customers may have concerning the hygiene of textiles such as bed linen and towels.

A key addition to the campaign resources is related to research undertaken by De Montfort University (DMU), and supported by TSA, which looked into Covid-19’s survival rates on textiles and how the laundry process affected them.  It found that Covid-19 can survive on cotton for up to 12 hours and on polyester for up to 72 hours.  The good news is that Covid-19 is killed in all washing processes above 40°C with agitation and detergent.  However, a key consideration has to be cross contamination – it’s essential that dirty and clean linens are segregated effectively, to avoid any possible infection transfer.

“TSA safety guidelines manage cross-contamination, and all commercial laundries will segregate soiled and clean linen,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “If you are operating an onsite laundry it is essential to set up segregation and cross-contamination procedures.

“Soiled to clean contamination is the highest risk area – it’s where critical control points are vital.”

Key to the successful reopening of the hospitality sector is making customers feel safe and secure.  That’s why the Hygienically Clean campaign includes the Rest Assured Scheme, which includes marketing material that TSA laundries can give to hospitality operators to display, verifying that their linens and towels have been hygienically processed..  There are different versions of the literature for different sectors, such as hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities.

“We want to help the hospitality industry re-open and understand some guests may have been worried about the hygiene of the bedroom linens and towelling,” says Stevens.  “The Hygienically Clean campaign underlines and explains the research and the procedures we have implemented.  In simple terms, the key message to consumers is, “It’s safe to go and enjoy the hospitality services we have all missed for so long.  You can sleep well!”

The Hygienically Clean guidance and documents are available to download from the Covid Resources section.  For marketing materials, hospitality operators should talk to their laundry service supplier. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

Government hangs hospitality laundries out to dry. Again.

“Everyone agrees that we should get support, but we still get nothing,” pleads TSA

The restart grants are great news for hospitality and other businesses – but not for commercial laundries.  Yet again the laundries that hospitality relies on have been ignored by government.  Now the TSA (Textile Services Association), which represents commercial laundries in the UK, has written to BEIS (the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) to demand an explanation.

“We didn’t get lockdown grants, we didn’t get business rates relief, we didn’t get the VAT reduction,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “Now we’re not getting the restart grants, either.  It’s like Groundhog Day, only much worse.

“We’re suffering, we need support, and we’re not getting it, while other business are.  It’s so unfair.”

Stevens points out that the commercial laundries that supply the hospitality industry have seen their business drop by 90% or more.  “We just need to know why we’re being ignored,” he says.

Here is the text of the TSA’s letter to Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

Dear Mr Kwarteng,

I draw your attention to a statement that our members are receiving every time they apply to their Council for any form of rate relief or grant support.

I understand your position and frustration. However, in the guidance that was issued by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, your business does not fall into a qualifying category”

This time it’s the re-start grants.  Before that it was the lockdown grants.  And the VAT reduction.  And the business rates relief.  Every time, we get ignored, and we get nothing.

All the Councils agree hospitality laundries have been forced to close.  They all agree we should get the grant.  They all agree it’s unfair that we don’t get any support.  But then they’ve agreed we should have been included in every piece of financial support that other businesses have been offered.  But sympathy is all we get. There has been no money forthcoming, the hospitality laundries are always left out.

Until someone in BEIS is brave enough to accept they have got it wrong, the commercial laundry industry will not get the support it deserves and so desperately needs.

We’ve been turned down time and time again.  We’ve been hung out to dry.

So, now we need an audience with a decision maker in BEIS so that, at the very least, they can explain why we’ve been singled out for no help from government.  Then I can inform the industry as to why we have been excluded.

Without the hundreds of commercial laundries serving hospitality, and the 24,000 laundry operatives they employ, UK hospitality will not be able to operate on 17th May.  Hotels, restaurants, sports facilities and many other businesses rely on commercial laundries.

How can you expect laundries to survive without any support when other sectors have received £billions in grants, VAT reductions and rate relief.

Give us support.  Please.  If not, then at least give us an explanation.

The letter is signed by David Stevens.

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

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

TSA launches scheme for recycling textiles used in the hospitality industry

30 million textile pieces wasted each year: “The time is right for innovative solutions,” says TSA CEO.

The Textile Services Association (TSA) is calling for the hospitality, catering and healthcare industries to work with them in order to improve the recycling of textiles. Every year over 30 million textile items, including sheets, duvet covers, pillow cases and towels, are thrown away. This equates to over 2000 tonnes. The majority of these will end up in landfill or incinerated.  Meanwhile the cloth that actually does get reused often only gets one additional use cycle, as rags in sites such as garages, before also being disposed of.

Textile waste from the hospitality industry is ideal for recycling, as it is predominantly made of natural fibres, and white. The TSA has set up a project to research potential recycling solutions for the industry. It has teamed up with Swedish company Södra, which has pioneered a method that takes textile and re-engineers it into a pulp that can be used to spin cotton fibre yarns. A test shipment was recently sent to them to determine how suitable it will be for use in the UK.

Members of the TSA are well positioned to facilitate the recycling of textiles. Over 90% of hotels in the UK are serviced by TSA members, which will enable them to easily handle the logistics of the proposed recycling scheme. “We want to be part of the solution,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “So far our members have been very enthusiastic about the potential for them to help industries reducing waste and improving sustainability.”

The TSA is also in talks with UK Hospitality about the possibility of including staff uniforms in the scheme, which account for an additional four million items annually. Recycling uniforms is more complex as they often use a mix of different materials and accessories that require separation first. Going forward, designing uniforms for recycling is one of the solutions being discussed.

“We are delighted to be working with the TSA on their recycling project and it compliments perfectly our current campaign of Net Zero Carbon by 2030,” says Kate Nicholls OBE, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality.

Stevens adds, “It’s a win-win for the environment as landfill use and incineration is reduced alongside less need for new cotton. It’s estimated that 20,000 litres of water are required for every kilo of cotton grown, not forgetting the risks of fertiliser run-off.  Anything that reduces the impact this crop has must be good.”

With more companies and business sectors looking for innovative ways to reduce their environmental impact David Stevens feels the time is right to consider bold and innovative solutions to the larger issues they face. “We welcome all the feedback we’re getting and call on more stakeholders to come forward to discuss the individual needs of their businesses in order to make this scheme a success,” he says. 

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.

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.