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Royal Trinity Hospice launches ‘Sustainable 7’ store initiative for World Recycling Day

Tom Shearsmith
17 March 2023

Royal Trinity Hospice has published a report to set out the charity’s plans to embed their commitment to sustainability throughout their shops and retail operations in a scheme named “Seven steps to sustainability”.

In early 2022, Royal Trinity Hospice shops identified seven priority areas where clear environmental improvements could be made with their plan. The new plan, published in time for tomorrow's World Recycling Day, lists 24 goals to improve sustainability, each sitting within one of the seven priority areas.

The seven priority areas cover:

  • Transportation
  • Procurement
  • Waste
  • Reuse and recycling
  • Printing
  • Utilities
  • People

The charity’s shops champion sustainability through a focus on fashion and accessories, all of which are preloved or otherwise destined for landfill. The shops, many of which are in some of London’s most fashionable neighbourhoods, have acquired a loyal following from customers of all ages who feel passionate about doing their part to reduce the damaging effects of fast fashion.

A recent survey of Royal Trinity Hospice customers placed the desire to buy sustainably as the number one reason attracting people through their doors. The plan published today lays out the team’s continued commitment to improving their sustainability credentials, in both behind-the-scenes operations and on the shop floor.

In publishing the plan, the hospice hopes to increase accountability and transparency. It also said it expects to report on their progress twice-yearly.

Royal Trinity Hospice runs 21 shops across the capital to help fund free end of life and palliative care for Londoners. Last year, Royal Trinity Hospice shops helped save over 300 tonnes of goods from landfill, including reselling over 350,000 preloved items.

Daniel Holloway, Director of Retail at Royal Trinity Hospice said: “For several years, the shared ambition of all of us at Royal Trinity Hospice shops has been to be ‘London’s answer to sustainable fashion’. During that time, it has been encouraging to see an ever-growing interest in preloved and sustainable fashion nationwide. It’s safe to say our shops, and by extension the patients and families our shops raise funds to care for, have certainly benefited from that.

“But being an authentically sustainable charity retailer is not skin-deep. We’re not in the business of greenwashing and we know that there is more to sustainability than simply selling preloved fashion. Genuine sustainability is not only about the number of preloved items we sell or save from landfill.

“Each of the commitments outlined in our plan, whether they are quick-wins or will require a more radical transformation to the way we operate over time, will take us closer to realising our ambition for authentic sustainability and minimal environmental impact.

“The goals that we have identified give an idea of how much goes into running charity shops and how much scope there is to limit waste and choose better options across transport, procurement, utilities and more.”

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