Textile Recycling International (TRI), the UK's largest used clothes and textile recycling company, has acquired another textile recycling company, Surrey-based Soex UK Ltd.
TRI Group had previously claimed to be the largest textile recycling company in the UK, and the Soex UK transaction will solidify that position. TRI has made a number of acquisitions of family-owned textile recycling companies, including JMP Wilcox, Cooksdown Textile Recyclers, Nathans Wastesavers, and SWD Premier Clothing Exports.
The purchase of SOEX UK from its German parent business with a similar name on 4 May is considered as reaffirming the TRI group's leadership position in the recycling of worn clothes, shoes, and other textiles. Until 2018, the SOEX business in the United Kingdom was known as the European SOEX.
SOEX UK had previously claimed to have 8,500 collection sites. Across the UK, they comprise local government, retail, stores, and street collection locations. The clothing and shoes it gathered were transported to Germany for sorting, but it is now considered that other TRI firms, like JMP Wilcox, might sort them in the UK.
TRI had previously said that it had processed 100,000 tonnes of garments. This volume is expected to have risen since then, and the purchase of SOEX UK might imply that it will handle roughly 130,000 tonnes per year. This puts TRI ahead of the Salvation Army's textile recycling program, which is estimated to be the second-largest garments recycling operation.
Mark Burrows Smith, CEO and Chairman of Textile Recycling International, said that they’re thrilled to welcome Andy Haws and their new Soex colleagues to the company. Soex is a well-known and recognized name in the used clothing industry. They are looking forward to merging the businesses and expanding the number of Soex's activities.
Waterland, a private equity group located in the Netherlands with an office in London, owns the TRI business. Waterland entered the UK textiles market in 2016 when it purchased the well-known Wolverhampton-based textile company JMP Wilcox.
The TRI company is described by Waterland as "the UK's premier firm in the recovery, processing, and recycling of worn clothes and shoes, with an emphasis on the circular economy."
Waterland says on its website, before the Soex purchase, that TRI gathers worn clothes and shoes from across the UK and Ireland, processing about 100,000T of material yearly, across four sorting facilities situated in Manchester, the Midlands, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Customers of TRI are worldwide in nature, with a strong emphasis on Eastern Europe and Africa.
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