Textile Services Association (TSA) CEO David Stevens has sent out a message to members saying: “Just maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine news on Monday night. Let’s hope it signals the start of some form of recovery, because as I am fully aware we [the industry] can’t take much more.”

He continued: “As the CBI mentioned in our last telephone call “most member companies are focused on Covid survival, Brexit and post Covid recovery” and I am sure this will continue for some time. It is good however to hear the word recovery being used by more sectors and particularly in travel and hospitality, although all the forecasts are referring to a recovery shaped more like a U rather than a V with most of 2021 being at the bottom of the U. However, at the TSA we continue to be extremely busy and a lot has happened since the last update.

Some of the highlights will be the development of a reusable gowns' information leaflet supported by several of our supply partners. We have also re-issued the Covid – Secure operating guidance for laundries and produced a new specification document for isolation gown manufacture.

In other news, he reported that Manchester, after weeks of lobbying has set a supply chain task force to look at the existing support measures and what needs to be done. “The good news for our industry is that Vikas Shah has been appointed on to the group and is keen to solicit evidence from our industry of what additional support is needed,” said Stevens.

He also reported that TSA has been able to re-engage with the Cabinet Office, although with a new contact, to continue the pitch for re-usable gowns.  “We have been here before, but it does feel as though we have some buy in to the process and we have a further call arranged with NHSI (England) next week.  We feel there is enough momentum to support the membership and other interested parties with some material (once we have paid for the photos!) which will be available to help articulate the case for such an obvious change of mind set away from single use.”

Away from Covid we have seen real momentum for our Women in the Industry initiative, started to load our first trial container for our reusable linen project ready for it to be sent to Sweden to be made back into cotton pulp, and have even “confidently” produced next year’s membership brochure including our Spring Conference details in May.’

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