Royal Trinity Hospice has today published “Seven steps to sustainability” a timeline setting out the charity’s plans to embed their commitment to sustainability throughout their shops and retail operations.

In early 2022, Royal Trinity Hospice shops identified seven priority areas where clear environmental improvements could be made with their “Sustainable Seven” plan. The new plan published today lists 24 goals to improved sustainability, each sitting within one of the seven priority areas.

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.

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.

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. We are at the start of our journey which means there is a long way to go, but also that there is ample opportunity for reducing our environmental impact.

“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.

“We know how important it is to our customers that the fashion they buy from us is sustainable and we want to prove to them that it matters to us too, not just on the shop floor but, throughout our whole retail operation.”

In publishing the plan, the hospice hopes to increase accountability and transparency and they plan to report on their progress twice-yearly.

Read the full plan here