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22 Aug 2022

BC SoftWear and Exclusive Hotels Collection begin recycling and repurposing discarded flip-flops

Supplier: BC Softwear

More BC Softwear details
BC SoftWear has partnered with First Mile and Reskinned to pilot the new scheme
photo: BC SoftWear
Spa and hotel textiles and flip-flop supplier, BC SoftWear, has launched a flip-flop recycling initiative to help tackle the ‘flip-flop mountain’ that sees billions of pairs thrown away every year.

BC SoftWear says that although flip-flops are an essential part of the guest experience in hotels, they’re also a significant contributor to plastic waste. If guests don’t take them home, hotels and spas have little option but to throw them away, meaning the flip-flops end up in a landfill.

BC SoftWear has recently partnered with waste management organisation, First Mile, as well as ethical textiles recycling business, Reskinned, to give its hotel and spa partners a more sustainable option.

“We supply approximately three million pairs of footwear per year and are all too aware of the impact that has on the environment,” explains Barbara Cooke, BC SoftWear CEO and founder.

“We’re delighted to be piloting a new scheme with the Exclusive Hotels Collection* to collect, recycle and repurpose all its discarded flip-flops.”

While First Mile arranges the collection of discarded flip-flops using ultra-low emission electric vehicles, Reskinned then links waste management with new technology that can recycle the flip-flops and turn them into surfaces for children’s playgrounds or equine menages.

Exclusive Hotels Collection’s UK destination spas Pennyhill Park and South Lodge are the first two locations to trial the scheme.

“Through the innovation of these two companies, our used flip-flops will go on to live another life,” says Cooke. “It’s our way of supporting the circular economy, offering a solution to the serious issue that is flip-flop mountain.”

Ross Barry, co-founder of Reskinned, says: “BC SoftWear contacted us looking for a sustainable solution for its flip-flops. We’ve already collected five pallet boxes of flip-flops weighing 825kg – that’s about 40,000 pairs.”

Charlene Phipp, spa manager at Pennyhill Park says: “As the first hotel group to become B-Corp certified, our sustainability credentials are a huge part of what we do. We always knew one of the biggest challenges we faced was single-use flip-flops because we go through a lot – up to 400 a day.

“BC SoftWear’s recycling initiative is the first practical solution we’ve found, and so far it’s working amazingly well. A lot of our guests ask what we do with discarded flip-flops and assume they’ll just be thrown away. It’s great to be able to reassure them we have an environmentally sound solution.”

Some of BC SoftWear’s other sustainable initiatives include solar power and recycled water in its manufacturing processes, minimising plastic wrap in its warehousing, as well as product innovations, such as biodegradable slippers.

More about Exclusive Hotels Collection
Founded in 1981, Exclusive Collection is a family-owned, independent collection of UK hotels and spas, a golf club, a cookery school and a pub.

The Collection includes Pennyhill Park; The Spa at Pennyhill Park; South Lodge; The Spa at South Lodge; The Manor House; The Manor House Golf Club; Lainston House; Season, The Exclusive Cookery School; Royal Berkshire; Fanhams Hall; and The Castle Inn.

Supplier: BC Softwear
Maidenhead Berkshire UK
BC Softwear is the leading textile supplier for luxury hotels and spas in the UK, France and worldwide. The products are designed for the most discerning customers, where quality and exceptional performance are the standard.

The company provides expertise in the manufacture of exceptional quality spa linen, luxury bathrobes and footwear to 34 countries worldwide, and is renowned for its unique understanding of the spa and hotel markets. With an enviable reputation for supreme quality towels and robes that stay softer and fluffier for longer, we guarantee our clients will receive reliable supply and exceptional customer service.


Click here to visit BC Softwear's leisure-kit listing

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