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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

Laundry industry pleads for Government support on energy prices

Commercial laundries close to ‘throwing in the towel’ warns TSA

Just as commercial laundries serving the hospitality sector think they can see a light at the end of the Coronavirus pandemic tunnel, they face another crisis, this time because of the massive and unprecedented rise in energy prices.  The Textile Services Association (TSA) is warning that if the government ignores the industry again, and fails to offer support, then businesses will fail and the industries that rely on laundries, including hospitality, will face significant challenges.

Now the TSA has written to the Rt Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), pleading to include the commercial laundry industry in any support it may offer to energy intensive industries.

David Stevens, CEO of the TSA, says, “We are an energy intensive industry and are recognised as such, alongside areas like manufacturing, under the Climate Change Agreement.  Whilst we have worked incredibly hard to reduce consumption, you cannot operate an hygienic process without energy to wash and dry the products. Energy represents about 10% of a commercial laundry’s overhead.  When energy prices are quadrupling you don’t need to be a mathematician to work out the impact.”

Several organisations and politicians are calling on the government to offer energy intensive industries support in the short term.

John Reynolds, the Shadow Business Secretary, has been lobbying government, saying they should “Come out with a plan sooner rather than later, there are lots of options available including a mix of loans and grants.”   However, the TSA fears that laundries will miss out – again.

Commercial laundries missed out totally on any government support offered to the hospitality sector during Covid, because they do not directly deliver hospitality, despite being totally dependent on it (and despite hospitality being very much dependent on commercial laundries).  Similarly, in the past, energy grants have usually been limited to mainstream manufacturing industries, meaning commercial laundries have missed out.  

“We support any plan that helps our sector,” says Stevens.  “We have been to hell and back and really cannot face another crisis.  I can see many commercial laundries literally throwing in the towel if they are not offered support this time.”

Commercial laundries employ over 24,000 staff and wash over 50 million pieces of laundry a week, including over 90% of the NHS’s products and 95% of hotel linens. Virtually all food and pharmaceutical factories outsource their washing of workwear to laundries.  Without commercial laundries many parts of the UK economy would grind to a halt. 

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


T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

Commercial laundries plan Sustainability Pact

Green practices will support hospitality industry’s net zero carbon objectives (additional press releases published for Industrial & Healthcare)

The Textile Services Association (TSA) is putting together a Sustainability Pact that’s designed to support commercial laundries in their drive to deliver a more sustainable future.  The Pact will also support the hospitality industry’s net zero carbon objectives, but, as Shyju Skariah, technical services manager at the TSA, points out, “We just don’t want to focus on net zero carbon.  We also need to be tackling water quality, reducing waste – this is so much more than a simple net zero tag.’’ 

The TSA has set up a Sustainability Steering Group made up of representatives from laundry operators, machinery and textiles manufacturers, and end-users, including representation from UK Hospitality.  The objective for the group is to ensure that an holistic approach is taken, whether it is considering the complex end of life textiles recycling project, which will save millions of tonnes of textiles from landfill, or looking into simple measures, such as using low energy light bulbs. 

“The laundry industry has already come a long way in optimising and fine-tuning its processes and operations in a more sustainable way,” says Skariah.   

“We have seen water usage slashed, from 20 litres a kilo down to 2 litres, and energy usage halved. But we want to go much further.  Nothing is off agenda with this steering group.”

The Steering Group’s first task is to set up the initial Sustainability Pact, which the laundry industry will sign up to.  “We’ll run training workshops with experts so TSA members really understand what net zero means and how it can be achieved,” says Skariah.  “We’ll create tools for individual companies to track progress. Each company will set their own roadmap, enabling the TSA to compile an industrywide pathway.”

The Pact will be added to as new sustainability ideas and concepts are developed, along with the practical means to initiate them. 

David Stevens is CEO of the TSA.  He says, “Following COP26 and with the climate change issues being addressed at a corporate level, there has never been a better time to set the most challenging sustainability objectives for the UK commercial laundry industry.”

The TSA continues to work closely with government bodies to support the delivery of the UK’s net zero carbon commitments.  “We believe the laundry industry can surpass the current targets,” says Stevens.  “The Sustainability Pact, and the support we are putting in place around it, will be especially useful in helping SME laundry operators achieve their green objectives.

“The Pact shows our industry is driving for a sustainable solution.  It’s also a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the benefits commercial laundries can bring to so many sectors of the economy, particularly around hospitality and healthcare.” 

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


T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

TSA warns unprecedented cost increases could make commercial laundries unviable

Wages alone are up over 14%, with galloping increases elsewhere

The TSA’s wage survey of the commercial laundry sector found that labour costs have increased by a staggering 14.25% in the twelve months to October 2021. Over 86% of the TSA’s membership took part on the survey, underlining the alarm that the increases are causing throughout the industry. 

The TSA (Textile Services Association) is the trade body representing commercial laundries in the UK.  Its CEO David Stevens warns that, without significant price increases, the industry is simply not viable.  “Wages are the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “We have reports of energy prices going up 300%, insurance up 100%, textile costs up 50%.  It’s not sustainable. The industry was already reeling from the aftermath of the lockdowns and the lack of government support, but these increases are unprecedented. We’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.”   

Commercial laundries service the hospitality and industrial markets, as well as healthcare including the NHS. 

“The last thing we want to inflict on hospitality and healthcare is a big hike in prices, but it’s difficult to see any other options,” says Stevens. 

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


T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600


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: 


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: 


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: 


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

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

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