Lets Talk – Rona Tait of TDS Commercial tells us more about laundry options for the spa industry that support sustainable business goals.

Laundries are often the silent partners of the spa industry.  When looking into reducing chemical and water usage.  Can our laundry partners can help spas to reach sustainability goals?

Laundries are truly collaborative partners to the spa and hospitality industry and can greatly contribute towards fulfilling the sustainability goals of the spas and their clients.

One very important area is the wash process itself. Most laundries use a chemical based wash process and heat the water to enable the chemicals to work.  This is an unnecessary measure that can be resolved by using Ozone as a detergent and disinfectant.

What are the benefits of using Ozone?

Firstly, it reduces the need for heat in the water, which subsequently decreases the environmental impact of the wash process and uses significantly less water than a conventional laundry processing.  Ozone also helps to protect the lifespan of the towels and other products, which removes the negative financial and environmental implications of buying new textiles sooner than necessary.  Quite simply, the longer spa textiles last, the better they are functioning for both the environment and the sustainability of the spa. But more importantly, it decelerates the manufacturing of these items.

What else can spas to do prolong the life of their laundry?

It’s fair to say that damaged and abused towels are an area no one likes to speak about but it does happen, often purely due to staff not understanding that laundries can’t always remove marks. If staff can be trained not to use towels as a cleaning implement and are educated about the environmental cost of cotton, positive improvements can be made to the spa costs and crucial steps towards achieving sustainability goals can be made. Your laundry provider should be able to help with this training.

Cotton is usually the preferred choice for spa sheets and towels. Can you tell us why cotton production has had such bad press environmentally?

Cotton production is one of the worst pollutants and uses extremely high volumes of water, second only to the oil industry. Cotton production also uses over 20,000 chemicals including pesticides, herbicides and sodium hypochlorite.

Organic cotton is the best choice but can be more costly, this is another reason to educate staff on the best care of laundry items.

Can you give us one piece of advice that TDS Commercial would usually advise their spa partners?

Creating a circular supply chain with your laundry can also help to reduce the waste. Most laundries work with cotton recycling companies, and indeed asking the laundry to remove and recycle old and unusable items will avoid towels and other cotton products going to landfill.

Purchasing the best product for the spas needs from the outset  is also very important, which is something that most laundries working in this area will be able to advise on.

The best advice to be given is this – find a laundry that  truly cares about sustainability and work collaboratively with them in order to achieve the best results.