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Valuing Hospitality Linen: Industry Action Needed

Hospitality Linen

A Guide to Valuing Hospitality Linen: Helping Linen Last Longer

A Collaborative Effort by Textile Services Association, UK Housekeepers Association, and UK Hospitality to begin valuing hospitality linen.

Introduction

In a recent survey conducted within the hospitality sector in 2023, 80% of hotel general managers expressed an interest in bolstering sustainability awareness, especially concerning hospitality linen textiles. A working group of hotels, laundries, and representative trade bodies have put together this comprehensive guide, aimed particularly at housekeeping and laundry operator teams, to bridge this gap. By adhering to these guidelines, you can enhance your environmental sustainability while fostering a synergistic relationship with your laundry providers.

Key Insights

  • Only 10% of linen products are rejected because they are worn out.
  • An alarming 50% of products last less than three months.
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen linens contribute to significant financial and environmental costs.

The Life Cycle and Importance of Hospitality Textiles

Hospitality linen textiles, which range from towelling to bed linens, are often undervalued. Losing or damaging these linens imposes unnecessary demands on limited planetary resources and the financial balance of both laundries and hospitality businesses. With 40% of linen items disappearing from the process and only 10% wearing out, there’s a critical need for change.

Environmental Impact

The carbon and water footprint of textiles begin long before they reach a laundry for the first time, making up 50% – 70% of their total environmental impact. Therefore, extending the lifespan of these products can result in significant resource conservation.


Strategies for Helping Linen Last Longer

Prevent Loss or Theft

  • Secure the linen room.
  • Maintain accurate stock levels.
  • Rotate linen room stock regularly.
  • Keep linen out of public spaces.

Minimise Physical Damage

  • Avoid using linen to prop doors open.
  • Be cautious when loading dirty linen into cages.
  • Handle pillows and duvets carefully to prevent ripping.

Address Stains Effectively

Stains like rust, mildew, and lipstick may require specialized treatments that can degrade linen quality. Basic preventive measures include:

  • Not using linen as cleaning cloths.
  • Ensuring a dry and well-ventilated linen room.
  • Advising guests appropriately about linen care.

The Pasha Initiative: A Real-World Example

To make this guide more relatable and engaging, we introduce “Pasha the Pillowcase.” This initiative includes a short video that traverses the life cycle of a pillowcase, emphasizing the importance of proper care. The Textile Service Association has produced two video tailored for the hospitality sector and the commercial laundries themselves. To access both videos click on the links below:


Support Materials and Training

A suite of support materials is available from the Textile Service Associations website to communicate this important message across various departments. These resources are particularly useful for housekeeping induction programs and can be customised to fit your brand.

The challenge of valuing hospitality linen extends beyond simple cost considerations. It encompasses environmental sustainability and operational efficiency. By implementing these best practices, you can make a meaningful difference on multiple fronts.