The increase of textile thefts is damaging the livelihoods of commercial textile recycling companies, as well as eroding charitable donations, the Textile Recycling Association (TRA) has highlighted.
Because commercial recyclers are losing out on material and money through criminals stealing their stock, the job security of people working in the industry is under threat.
TRA member LMB operations manager Ray Clark said: “We just can’t keep up with the thefts. We had to make people redundant last year and this is completely down to the losses we are making from the break-ins. We’ve also spent more than £250,000 modifying bins just to stop people breaking into them.”
Efforts to stop the trade in stolen textiles are gaining momentum, with the potential for stronger sentences for those caught thieving and the Association of Chief Police Officers using intelligence-led information to uncover further incidents.
The TRA is calling on the public to continue to support all legitimate collections. In a statement it said: “While donations made directly through charity shops are not affected, it is important that the public continues to support charitable door to door and clothing bank collections.”