The TSA has launched the second phase of its Infinite Textiles scheme. This significantly expands the scope of the project and has significant potential to help reduce the carbon footprint of the laundry industry and of its customers in sectors including healthcare. The accreditation scheme in its latest form is aimed at enabling the laundry industry and its end-user sectors to improve the overall lifecycle of its textile products - beginning at the first step in supply all the way to managing the end of primary use.
Until recently, the only established route of ‘recycling’ was to entrust the textile products at the end of their primary use (over 100 wash cycles) to rags and wipers manufacturing processes, which were then either incinerated or sent to landfill after one or two uses. If these can be reused, carbon emissions can be significantly reduced. it can significantly reduce carbon emissions and further improve the sustainability credentials of what is already a circular model.
Following a successful pilot, the TSA has evolved the Infinite Textiles project. It now aims to cover the complete lifecycle of textile products to ensure that the laundry industry is well informed to make better purchasing decisions and take steps with their supply chains and customers to maximise the longevity of these textile products, ensuring they are recycled as many times as possible.
As well as helping to reduce carbon footprints, giving textiles as long a working life as possible helps to reduce running costs for industries that use them. Once they have reached the end of their working life, textiles can be processed by TSA members and all suitable materials can be distributed to participating recyclers. This allows the cycle to begin again, with the recovered fabric being used to make new textile products. As recycled textiles use a fraction of the resources required for producing new fabric, this has a significant impact on the environmental impact of industries that use them.
The expanded scheme was launched at an open day event that showed how end-of-life textile products are collected before being sent for recycling. The open day enabled TSA members, suppliers and customers, including representatives of the healthcare sector, to visit the project’s textile aggregation site in Kettering. They learnt how textiles can be reused for different purposes or recycled at the end of their standard working lives, and were shown the benefits the project can bring to all industries that rely on textiles and laundry.
The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry.