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TRA completes 100 years in textiles recycling

United Kingdom – The UK’s Textile Recycling Association (TRA) has celebrated its 100th anniversary at the Houses of Parliament in London.

Member of Parliament Tracey Crouch hosted a special event at which she praised TRA for its efforts on many fronts, including moves to tackle the issue of theft from door-to-door and clothing bank collections – a scourge which ′costs charities millions of pounds′ in lost revenue year after year and ′threatens the economic viability′ of collection businesses, endangering thousands of jobs. ′People need the understanding and confidence that when they are putting out their clothing or recycling for charity, they have the knowledge that they are doing so for genuine collectors and genuine charities,′ said Ms Crouch.

Despite the ′very difficult economic situation′ currently faced by the industry, TRA underlined that textiles recycling still has ′many positive aspects′. Retailers such as Marks & Spencer, H&M and Clarks have started offering in-store take-back schemes; rather than posing a threat, some TRA members are now operating schemes in conjunction with these high-profile companies, thus securing new business.

Delegates at the London event also discussed the long-term viability of current export markets in Africa and Eastern Europe. According to Mervyn Jones, Head of Products and Materials at the UK′s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), his organisation is working in tandem with TRA to establish new markets and close the textile recycling loop.

Mr Jones also argued that TRA membership ′is essential for textile and clothing reclamation merchants′ because it is only through the organisation that WRAP can ′engage effectively′ with the wider sector concerning the vital work taking place in textiles recycling.

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