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Royal Trinity Hospice has published a report outlining our progress towards our ambitious retail sustainability goals for our 22 charity shops in central and southwest London.

An electric van, new sustainable energy contracts, a focus on sustainable materials in shop-fits and removing 30,000 single-use plastic bags from circulation annually are some of the innovations that our shops have introduced in the past year 

The new report shares our progress on our 'Seven steps to sustainability' plan for our shops to become 'London’s answer to sustainable fashion' and the most sustainably minded charity retailer in the UK.  

Since first publishing the plan in March 2023, we have continued to look at both front and back-of-house systems and suppliers in a bid to limit our environmental impact in every possible way. Our work was recognised with the inaugural Environmental and Sustainability award from the Charity Retail Association in 2023, in recognition of our achievements. 

Read the report

More about Royal Trinity Hospice shops and sustainability 

The opening of a new shop in Brixton in November 2023 gave the team an opportunity to produce a stunning, low-impact shop fit within a charity shop budget. The new store features sustainable fixtures and fittings, including joinery and furniture made from reclaimed pallets from Brixton market, part-recycled tiles, recyclable paper mannequins, reclaimed fixtures and lighting and low-impact paint. Reused denim used in the shop’s seating shines a light on some of the fashion industry’s environmental challenges. The success of Brixton means that several of these features will become standard for Royal Trinity Hospice shop fitouts going forward. 

But it is the charity’s new stock rotation bags that might have the most immediate impact on their environmental footprint. Royal Trinity Hospice has worked with the company Acopia to develop a reusable, durable bag that could replace the over 30,000 plastic sacks that were being used to rotate and transfer stock between shops every year. Royal Trinity Hospice and several other charity retailers are currently trialling a product that has the potential to have an even greater impact if it is adopted more widely across the sector. 

Daniel Holloway, Director of Retail at Royal Trinity Hospice, said:

When we published the Seven steps to sustainability plan last year, we were making a public commitment to reducing our environmental impact. We wanted to hold ourselves to account but also to share how small or incremental differences can make a big difference without damaging the primary function of our shops to raise funds for the hospice.

We know that the desire to shop more sustainably is still the number one reason why our customers choose Royal Trinity Hospice shops, and it matters deeply to me and the team too. We want to go that extra mile to ensure that our commitment to sustainability goes beyond selling secondhand fashion. We have come a long way this year and I am so proud of the progress that we have made and looking forward to sharing the future innovations we have planned. 

Terry Gardner, Account Director at Acopia said:

We were approached by Royal Trinity Hospice who were already making groundbreaking gains in the charity sector with their benchmark Sustainable 7 programme, to support them with making their GNFR consumables spend across their 22 shops as sustainable as possible. We focus on the products and processes that reduce retailers’ environmental impact and were developing our new Velo™ Reusable Transfer and Storage Sack which provided the timely opportunity to reduce over 30,000 disposable plastic bags that Royal Trinity Hospice used on an annual basis for their donated textiles management.

Royal Trinity Hospice were completely aligned to what we were developing and joined our trial. They recognised that the introduction of the Velo™ Reusable Transfer & Storage Sack, effectively a bag for life, could help charities across the UK eliminate the need to use several million plastic bags every year, supporting the sector to embrace more sustainable practices with a closed loop system. 

Read the report

More about Royal Trinity Hospice shops and sustainability