As part of the recent events season, the Tonrose Group attended the Independent Hotel Show. Widely regarded as a firm fixture in the calendar for independent hoteliers, industry professionals and suppliers, the show presents a curated collection of over 300 innovative product and service providers from across the hotel supply chain.
It was a truly fantastic event, full of inspiring ideas, expertise and networking opportunities. A topic that kept coming up in conversations with customers and other industry contacts was that of sustainability and the disposal of linen when it reaches the end of its life.
One of the highlights for us was the ‘Hotel of the Future’. Created especially for the show, the live installation and accompanying report also elevated the importance of sustainability. The Hotel Room of the Future Report includes a section dedicated to the subject. In it, hotel consultant and editor of Alastair Sawday’s British Hotels & Inns Tom Bell, is quoted saying that sustainability is the “new normal”. Bell continued, “Remember that only some guests take sustainability super-seriously, but most appreciate it”.1
It was music to our ears to see such a focus on sustainability, as it is something that we ourselves continually looking to improve upon in our sourcing, as well as encouraging our customers to do the same in their textile care processes to minimise their environmental impact.
The hospitality sector puts a huge amount of pressure on the environment when you consider the full supply chain and can be incredibly demanding on our natural resources, if not managed correctly.
We held a round table event in the summer on this very subject in association with Laundry and Cleaning News. We decided to partner with the LCN to create a platform to open the ethical debate as collaboration is the key to having a wider scale impact.
Attended by representatives from each part of the supply chain, ‘The Ethical Effect – CSR in Linen Sourcing and its Care’ event saw a positive and lively debate, with shared values looking at how we can each make improvements. What became clear was that there are three main areas requiring focus: sustainable sourcing and ethical production; responsible linen care, minimising environmental impact; and end of life.
Tonrose Director Phil Hodgson took part in the round table and said: “It was a really interesting debate and fantastic to see such a willingness for change. It is evident that there is a need for a national agreement or standard to align our strategies.
“We were the first trade textile supplier to join the Better Cotton Initiative, which helps the flow of ‘better cotton’, educating farmers how to get the best yields in a sustainable way, while minimising their environmental impact. Others are starting to follow suit and it is our hope that this will become the standard. But without the whole supply chain working together, each making their own improvements, these actions cannot reach their full potential.
“We fully understand the need to balance commercial sensibilities with ‘blue sky’ thinking. But it’s crucial that we recognise our collective responsibility and work together to make significant improvements in the way we supply, care and dispose of linen.”