About the Textile Recycling Association

Who are we?

We are the UK’s trade association for collectors, sorters, processors and exporters of used clothing and textiles.

The main objectives of this Association are:

  • to represent the interests of its members internationally, nationally and locally.
  • to be a major force in creating a favourable climate within which merchants can operate to advantage.
  • to strengthen the economic opportunities for all our members by promoting all forms of textile recycling and the second hand clothing/shoe recycling industry.
  • to highlight the major environmental, social and economic benefits that the industry brings both here in the UK and in other parts of the world.
  • to promote best practice in the industry.

Our members are collectors, graders and processors of used clothing, textiles and shoes and they operate throughout the United Kingdom. We welcome enquiries from anyone in the UK or abroad who may wish to join the association. Find out more about what we do. Further details regarding membership can be found here, join us.

What happens to clothing collected for re-use and recycling?

To find out what happens to clothing and textiles that have been collected from charity shops, textiles banks and door to door collections visit the Bureau of International Recycling website.


What we do

It is the role of this Trade Association to represent the interests of its members Internationally, Nationally and Locally; to be a major force in creating a favourable climate within which merchants can operate to advantage. Results may be difficult to quantify – but the lack of them can be painfully apparent. There is great strength in numbers and value in a co-ordinated approach when lobbying Government. As your voice, it is the Association’s duty to speak with conviction to bodies such as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. To this end they compile statistics that add strength to their argument.



The TRA is a longstanding member of the Textiles Division of the BIR, (the Bureau of International Recycling) – the body which embraces recyclers from more than 50 nations. The BIR was founded in 1948 as the international voice of the recycling industry and now provides a unique, widely-based International recycling forum with the potential for increasing influence and developing greater consensus on issues of worldwide significance.

It is now acknowledged that Recycling is of major importance to the environment and to the conservation of the world’s raw material base. In 1995 BIR began to address many misunderstandings on the part of some Governments and environmental organisations which, in the face of current legislation, still threatens to impede exports from UK.


Direct consultation with, and representation to, UK Environment Agency ensures members are aware of proposed UK Legislation at an early stage of preparation before it actually finds its way onto the Statute Book. TRA’s Recyclatex Group work with local authorities and major charities through the Bonded Textile Collection Scheme. In turn, these activities boost business and benefit members and industry alike.


There are all sorts of problems at local level where the Association can give assistance to members, for example, planning permission. If the Association is involved reasonably early, pressure can be brought to bear in relevant quarters.


The vigour and efficiency of any Association depends upon the effort put in by its members. The Textile Recycling Association is very fortunate to have an active Executive Committee with ideas and ability. They are at the “sharp end” of affairs and thoroughly deserve the support of the members.

At the end of the day members themselves make or break any organisation. The Textile Recycling Association encompasses textile recyclers and wiping cloth manufacturers. They have membership categories small, medium, large, international, service and charity. They believe strongly that one of their most important roles is to nurture and support small companies and encourage them to join.

New members are very welcome in whatever branch they engage. It is in all their interests to join and ensure that they are properly represented within the textile recycling industry.