ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Textile Rental Services Association of America (TRSA), representing independent, regional and national laundry operators and associates in the $16 billion reusable textile services industry, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
Most Americans benefit at least once a week from the cleanliness and safety provided by the industry—through its laundering and delivery of reusable linens, uniforms, towels, floor mats and other products for the healthcare, hospitality and industrial/manufacturing sectors, TRSA says.
“TRSA members launder reusable textiles and provide other products and services that help businesses project a clean and attractive public image,” says TRSA President & CEO Joseph Ricci, CAE. “Our industry reaches every major business and industrial region and city in the country.”
Textile services companies maximize efficiencies for laundering uniforms, hotel and hospital linen, garments, and restaurant linen by utilizing high-capacity, high-speed laundry equipment to minimize cost and consumption of water, energy and chemistry. Most of these companies are family-owned and -operated and have evolved from providing family laundry service in the late 1800s to serving the growing healthcare sector.
Today, the industry accounts for more than 200,000 individuals employed at 2,000-plus facilities nationwide. TRSA calculates that 1.8 million U.S. business locations are textile services customers generating roughly 15 billion pounds of laundry per year delivered by the third largest fleet of vehicles (behind only FedEx and UPS).
Healthcare and hospitality businesses account for about two-thirds of the laundry volume, with the balance to manufacturing and service industries that use customized work uniforms.
“Our industry has evolved as customer needs have evolved,” notes Ricci. “Before the turn of the century, textile services companies delivered clean, reusable items by bicycle and horse-drawn carriage as a less costly, time-saving alternative. Reusable textile service has long been the greener, more sustainable alternative to disposable products, home and on-premises laundries by reducing waste and conserving water and energy.”