TRUST: new accreditation standard for recyclers trading with charity shops and local authorities launched 9th September 2019

Press Release – 9th September 2019

A new accreditation standard for recyclers who trade with charity shops, local authorities, waste management companies and others launches today. TRUST – Trader Recycling Universal Standard – is the outcome of a coalition dedicated to boost standards within the recycling sector.

TRUST has the backing of more than 2,500 charity shops across the United Kingdom, and represents the Charity Retail Association, Textile Recycling Association, charity retail chains, academics, waste reduction charities, textile recyclers, with input from the Environment Agency, the WISH (Waste Industry Safety and Health) Forum and the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM).

British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, Salvation Army, Sue Ryder and Royal Trinity Hospice have all indicated that in due course they will only deal with TRUST- accredited organisations when trading donated items that cannot be sold on the shop floor.

It is anticipated most charity shops will follow suit. At that point, accredited merchants will be the only companies gaining stock from the charity retail sector, which collects around 330,000 tonnes of textiles every year. This will incentivise all companies in this space to adopt this approach.

Local authorities, waste management companies, and other retailers will be encouraged to use TRUST accreditation for their own sectors. In addition, the Charity Retail Association will in future only accept recyclers who are TRUST accredited as corporate members.

TRUST accreditation lasts two years from inspection. Applicants must pass a comprehensive series of tests across five categories. Whistle-blowing procedures are in place should any accredited business fall below standard. The fees recyclers pay to acquire this status will administer the scheme, which is non-profit making.

Charity Retail Association Chief Executive, Robin Osterley, said: “There are many recyclers out there whose business practices are exemplary, but sadly there are also a few who fall short of the standards we would expect.

“This initiative, supported by many of the largest charity retailers and others, will go a long way to ensuring competitive advantage for those who are doing the right thing, and provide comfort for charity retailers that they are dealing with reputable and healthy organisations.”

TRUST Chair and British Heart Foundation Sustainability Manager, David Roman, said: “Charity shops are hugely grateful for the donations we receive, which help fund our vital work.

“We want to ensure those donations are taken care of every step of the way, which is why we extend our duty of care to the recycling merchants we trade with.”

Textile Recycling Association Director, Alan Wheeler, said: “We have for many years had a transparent and robust membership application procedure that has aimed to ensure that only professional businesses that adhere to relevant waste, employment and health and safety laws are afforded membership.

“With the introduction of TRUST, our members will be able to demonstrate this outwardly through this independent audit process.”

Find more information on the TRUST website:


Notes to editors

For further details or comment you can contact Alan Wheeler at the Textile Recycling Association at

The Textile Recycling Association is the UK trade association for collectors, graders and processors of used clothing.   It was established in 1913 and today’s its membership accounts for around 70% of all legitimate and licensed collections of used clothing and textiles from charity shops, textile banks, door to door, retailers etc.

The Charity Retail Association is the only body in the UK which represents the interests of charity retailers. We represent around 80 per cent of all charity stores in the UK. Our members range from national chains, to individual hospice shops, and everything in-between.