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TRUST – Trader Recycling Universal Standard is a non-profit making, accreditation standard for recyclers who trade with charity shops, local authorities, waste management companies and others.

TRUST has been set up and implemented to boost and maintain standards within the recycling sector whilst making it easy for charities to choose a reputable partner to work with for their recycling needs.

TRUST accredited recyclers are fully audited to ensure they are following best practice and regulatory guidelines, which in turn protects the charities and organisations working with them.

TRUST launched with the support of The Charity Retail Association and over 2,500 charity shops across the United Kingdom who have indicated that they will only work with TRUST accredited organisations when trading goods that can’t be sold on the shop floor.

With more charity shops pledging to work only with TRUST accredited recyclers, it is anticipated that the 330,000 tonnes of textiles collected every year from charity shops will only be collected and processed by accredited merchants in the future. This will enhance ethical traders and ensure high standards are met across the industry.

The full list of charity signatories can be viewed here

Recycling merchants are keen to engage with the audit process and have already applied for the TRUST accreditation, a list of those merchants can be found here

If you would like more information about TRUST or if you would like to sign up as a charity signatory, please email info@trustmerchants.org.uk

Why Work with a TRUST Accredited Merchant?

As a charity small or large, it can be difficult finding a recycling merchant you can trust. Choosing a TRUST accredited merchant means you can choose the right partner for your charity with confidence.

Just some of the benefits of working with TRUST accredited merchants:

  • It is easy to use the website to source TRUST accredited merchants anywhere in the UK who cover your area.
  • It’s free to sign up as a TRUST charity.
  • Every TRUST accredited merchant is carefully background checked, evaluated, and audited to ensure they meet our high standards, so you know you are protected and only dealing with reputable traders.
  • TRUST will save you time, we do the audits, and background checks so you don’t have to.
  • Utilising TRUST Merchants will ensure your charity is having minimal impact on the environment as only merchants with sustainability processes in place are able to gain accreditation.
  • TRUST accreditation will be renewed every 2 years and merchants will be accountable for upholding the TRUST standards throughout this period. Reporting procedures are in place for charities to report any business falling below the standard to the TRUST forum.

Feedback from a Charity Committed to using TRUST Accredited Merchants

Nicola @ Trinity House

The main benefits for us are highlighted in that quote though – having the confirmation that a particular merchant is abiding by the highest of standards without us necessarily having to conduct our own audits.

As a sustainability focused business operating within the circular economy, I feel we have a responsibility for the entire life cycle/journey of any donations that leave our doors. If that’s leaving in customers purchases, it’s encouraging them to re-donate back when they are done with it, and if it’s leaving to be sold to a rag merchant, it’s ensuring (as much as possible) that all the items are re-used or recycled in a way that has the most minimal environmental impacts (ie. We don’t want to be contributing to the huge landfills in Ghana etc.). TRUST gives us the confidence that we are selling to the most responsible merchants, which at this stage is about as much as we can do to limit our impact in this area.

I know TRUST also ensures compliance and regulation in other areas like H&S and preventing modern slavery too which is great and again comes back to our lack of resource to be able to conduct our own rigorous audits, but for us the sustainability element is the biggest area, and the one which we feel like we have an extended responsibility for.