In line with the trade report, textiles are the most effective single-use objects for sustainability


A groundbreaking and important new report from an impressive number of international representatives of the textile care industry speaks in a nutshell in favor of textiles over single-use items. In fact, textiles are a far more sustainable option for the planet and have many other advantages over their disposable / disposable items.

The report, entitled "Why textiles win over the long term", is the result of a close collaboration between ETSA, the Belgian Textile Care Association (FBT), the Textile Service Association (TSA, UK), TRSA USA and the Swedish Textile Industry Service Association. The report examines published literature on the hygiene and sustainability performance of reusable textile-based tablecloths and disposable tablecloths used in the service industry (primarily hotels and restaurants). Most of the studies considered by the authors illustrate strong arguments in favor of the reusable textile option.

The study comes to the conclusion that the textile table linen is much more sustainable compared to disposable tablecloths. While maintaining this environmental compatibility, the reusable textile table linen does not seem to make any compromises in terms of hygiene performance compared to disposable table linen. In addition, the study highlights that textile-based products do not increase the spread of Covid-19.

The results also show that the use of energy and water when washing textile laundry for reuse only accounts for half of the climate impact of single-use items on the manufacturing process and waste disposal after each individual use. In contrast to the more linear business model of disposables, the circular business model that is used when textile table linen goes through a large number of washing cycles creates many local jobs. The results show that every job created in the textile service industry creates 25% more indirect and induced jobs. This comparative research, which focused on analyzing hygiene standards, environmental performance, and economic contribution (i.e. job creation and protection), falls within the framework of three main pillars for sustainability.

Important points

Compared to plastic, paper, stainless steel, glass, vinyl and cotton fabric made from renewable textiles, the material with the lowest half-life was the material with the lowest half-life, which means that the COVID-19 virus can be found on this type of surface compared to paper surfaces dies faster.

The decision to supply a company or a place of residence with textile table linen helps create jobs on site through textile service companies. Supporting this sector is therefore vital in supporting local jobs in communities in Europe and North America.

The professional textile service business model is inherently circular in that it minimizes waste, keeps products and materials in use for as long as possible, and finds new uses for textiles as soon as they can no longer be used for their primary purpose through reuse. Upcycling or recycling.

The textile service industry employs a large number of employees, both from highly qualified engineers in the field of industrial processes and logistics and from many thousands of employees with a lower formal level of education.

While the maintenance and ecological footprint of textile linen are lower than that of single-use items, the hygiene performance of textile table linen corresponds to that of single-use table linen. To make textile laundry just as hygienically effective and environmentally conscious.

In total, the European and US textile services sectors support nearly 330,000 jobs. These workplaces are pillars for the local communities and provide essential textile services to communities in Europe and North America.

Innovative ways of recycling textile fibers, such as the use of alternative fibers in textile production and the increased use of non-fossil energy in the washing process, continuously reduce the environmental impact of textiles.


This study highlights the obvious and makes us aware – it is better to use something several dozen times than to use something and throw it away once. On a larger scale, this is much more logical and the right choice for our hospitality industry, the planet, and for creating viable local jobs.

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