By Paul Hamilton, Technical Director, Regenex
There is no doubt that the commercial laundry sector – among many others – is now facing an unprecedented crisis in the UK and beyond.
This was starkly outlined by an open letter to the Government from the Textile Services Association (TSA), published on the Laundry and Cleaning Today website last week.
In it, CEO David Stevens, says 24,000 of the 29,000 employees represented by the body are now furloughed and 70% of members do not expect to survive the next 90 days without support.
Though the TSA is appreciative of the Job Retention Scheme, 50% of laundries have received no additional Government aid so far.
The shut-down hospitality industry, which usually creates 15 million pieces of washing every week in this country – from towels and sheets to tablecloths and staff uniforms – is a huge problem for laundries.
But there will be a whole other headache if, when hotels and other venues eventually try to re-open, they cannot get hold of clean linen.
The very real possibility that the laundry sector could be so depleted that it cannot service resurging demand would be ‘catastrophic’ for hospitality, in the words of David Stevens.
Another effect of Coronavirus could be a shortage of new linen supply, meaning companies may have no choice but to make the most of what they already have.
This is a sensible and certainly more environmentally-sustainable strategy at any time, but COVID-19 has ramped up the urgency to rethink old habits and procedures.
So, what can laundries do to help themselves survive? Saving money and resources wherever possible is an obvious strategy, and the long days of lockdown may offer more time than usual to explore a long-term shift to thriftier behaviour.
Every little helps, and one potentially significant saving can be made by thinking very carefully about throwing ANY linen away.
Grey or stained items, that would once have gone in the bin, can now be processed by Regenex – to become brighter, whiter and perfectly serviceable for many washes to come.
Many laundries already know this – read our case studies with Bates of London, Shortridge and others – and are saving thousands of pounds on needless top-up stock.
The driver for using Regenex is usually environmental – all companies want to decrease their carbon footprint and taking better care of linen is one good way to achieve this.
But now the financial consideration – the money to be recouped by loving linen longer – has never been more important.
Contact Regenex to discuss how we can work together. We offer a free 400kg trial to new customers.