RWM 2019 WAS RECORD-BREAKING - Look at the show highlights here!

16 & 17 SEPT 2020


The UK's Largest Recycling & Waste Management Exhibition

Sponsored by...


16 & 17 SEPT 2020 - NEC, BIRMINGHAM

Free Tickets

Do you want to save the planet?

TRUST - how to recycle textiles

RWM is proud to welcome TRUST to the 2019 agenda. David Roman from the British Heart Foundation, the Charity Retail Association’s Robin Osterley and Alan Wheeler from the Textile Recycling Association make up a stakeholder group that represents interests from across the used clothing and textile supply chain. Together they have developed a brand new standard covering health and safety, employment law, compliance with waste legislation and the waste framework directive and sound business practices.

Join TRUST in the RWM Theatre sponsored by Ecolo on Day 2 - 12th September at 14.00.

We spoke with TRUST to find out a bit more about their work, here is what we found out;

1.  Please give an overview of the TRUST Standard

The Textile Recycling Universal Standard (TRUST) is a quality standard for textile merchants – those who collect and process used clothing and related goods. It is designed to assess and audit merchants, promoting best practice throughout the industry. The standard consists of a comprehensive series of tests across five categories:

  • Health and safety (ensuring that sound policies exist to prevent accidents and take appropriate action to protect staff when incidents occur)

  • Sound business practice (checking that everything the business does is compliant with the law and transparent)

  • Labour (requiring that all workers are treated properly and in full accordance with their rights)

  • Environment (promoting the best sustainability and environmental standards)

  • Transport (ensuring that all vehicles used are well maintained and appropriate)

2. I understand the TRUST Standard was formed as part of a collaboration, who has been involved?

An informal group of charities which have all been developing their own processes to audit textile merchants came together with other organisations and created a forum. It was agreed that we would pool our expertise and work towards a single process which we would all use.  The group includes the British Heart Foundation, Salvation Army, Oxfam, Cancer Research UK, Sue Ryder, the Charity Retail Association, Textile Recycling Association, CIWM and the WISH Forum.

3. What are the main benefits of the TRUST Standard?

TRUST accreditation gives assurance to those dealing with used clothing that they are trading ethically. It recognises the expertise and commitment of professional textile merchants who invest in their businesses, treat their people well, and meet and exceed legal requirements.

This is a single standard used by charity retailers and others collectively handling thousands of tonnes of textiles. TRUST is specifically designed for the used textile trade and addresses several areas which are key to this industry, rather than using a generic system with less relevance.

4. How will the Trust Standard affect the retail industry?

As the Standard is taken up more widely we would expect a more level playing field for the re-use and recycling of textiles, and more stability.  The most immediate impact will be reputational – a clear signal that anyone using TRUST has an ethical supply chain process.  Over the longer term it should make the industry more sustainable.

5. Will the Standard directly affect consumers? 

There’s quite a bit of confusion and mistrust amongst the public when it comes to buying or donating used clothing. We want consumers to know that charity retailers will look after their clothes. Anything which improves transparency should improve confidence and drive up re-use rates.

Join TRUST in the RWM Theatre sponsored by Ecolo on Day 2 - 12th September at 14.00.