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From ‘rags’ to royal riches

A London-based Royal Warrant holder which was a pioneer of the textile recycling movement more than a century ago has committed to preventing 100 per cent of the materials it deals with going to landfill.

Coppermill Ltd manufactures and supplies high-quality industrial cleaning wipes made from recycled textiles for personal, retail, commercial and industrial users.

But wiping cloths are just a part of the Bethnal Green company’s story, as it has the distinguished honour of supplying the Royal Mews, which is home to the royal family’s historic coaches and carriages, and is considered to be one of the finest working stables in existence.

It is Coppermill’s recycled textile cloths that keep the interior of these stunning vehicles tourist-ready and fit for the Queen, which grants them their Royal Warrant of Appointment – a prestigious mark of recognition of those who have supplied goods or services to the households of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or the Prince of Wales for at least five years.

Coppermill’s Managing Director, Marc Ratzker, says the company’s success is due in no small part to the great working relationships developed over the years which have allowed it to grow, including with Wimbledon-based logistics firm, ELB Partners, which has moved Coppermill products around the country for the last 10 years.

Coppermill also processes textiles which end up in products as diverse as carpet tiles, padding for boxing gloves and even the powder which helps you put on washing-up gloves.

Ratzker said: “Royal Warrants are mainly held by producers of luxury goods or providers of luxury services, so sometimes we wonder how we ended up being in the same association as these people with our rags!

“There are very few recyclers in the Royal Warrant Holder Association so it is actually a huge honour to be given this kind of recognition and we are immensely proud and appreciative.

“As well as retaining our Royal Warrant, our ultimate goal is to find a recycling solution for 100 per cent of textiles and give it at least one more use when it has been deemed to have reached the end of its usefullness.

“We want to prevent every bit of textile we receive from going to landfill.”

ELB Partners, which is part of the Wolverhampton-based Pallet-Track network, has supported Coppermill with its logistics requirements for 10 years.

Ratzker added: “Our relationship with ELB is superb. When we started working together what they did was take away a huge amount of the agitation we were encountering. We had an enourmous workload which they have helped us to manage.

“It’s a mutually beneficial collaboration. They are enormously helpful to us, and if there’s anything we can do for them, we will do it.

“The 10 years we have worked with them has flown by and gone so well, we wouldn’t consider using anyone else.”

Peter Eason, Managing Director of ELB, said: “To have worked with and given our support to such an innovative, forward-thinking company over the last decade has been fantastic.

“With David Attenborough’s Blue Planet documentary still fresh in our minds, it is heartening to see that a commitment to recycling isn’t just an afterthought for some businesses – it is at the heart of Coppermill’s operations and has been for more than a century.

“They are a pleasure to deal with and we look forward to the next 10 years of collaboration.”

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