Public scrutiny: ETSA and TSA launch Laundry Open Week to highlight potential career paths

26 February 2024

In an effort to boost recruitment and demonstrate that a career in the textile care industry is something to aspire to, the UK Textile Services Association (TSA) has united with the European Textile Services Association (ETSA) and others to throw open the doors of commercial laundries to the public. The aim? To demonstrate and promote careers in textile services. The method? Commercial laundry sites across the UK will allow visitors access inside their premises on specified days between March 11-15 March, where they can see and discuss the range of careers available in this growing sector.

The actual washing process is only part of it. While there are more than 24,000 people working in the textile services industry, only about one third handles the laundry. From engineers to customer service reps and HR, from sales and finance teams to drivers, behind every clean piece of linen there is a vast number of different skills and jobs. While one purpose of Laundry Open Week is to showcase the diversity of career paths within the commercial laundry industry, it’s also to celebrate some of its forward-thinking initiatives as championed by the TSA, from sustainability to inclusivity and mental health, as well as explaining the industry’s importance in supporting the broader UK economy.

“While these issues are vital to us, we want this week to demonstrate that it’s a fun industry to work in, too,” said David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “Anyone interested in a career in textile services, or who is simply curious about what goes on behind the scenes, should consider getting involved.” 

While this is the first time something like this has been done in the UK, its potential for success has already been tried and tested overseas.  “France has been doing this for a few years now, and with a great turnout,” said Stevens. “The fact we have ETSA and others behind it now is really encouraging. We are keen to showcase to the general public what our industry can offer.”  

There’s still time for commercial laundries to apply to be part of the open week. They just need to get in touch with the TSA via its website and specify a day during 11-15 March that works best for them.

“It’s fast approaching, and we see this very much as a pilot event, our hope is that it grows and becomes an annual week,” said Stevens. He highlighted that commercial laundries are vital to UK Plc. Without them, 90% of hotels would be forced to close within just three days, while the same percentage of hospitals would close after 24 hours. For pharmaceutical and food processing factories, the story is much the same.

“The message is simple: laundry matters, and working in the laundry industry can be a highly rewarding career,” said Stevens.

For those attending Laundry Open Week, sharing images and social media posts is encouraged to help spread the word and the success of this first-time event. Those interested in finding out more should visit

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