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Vanish partners with Europe’s best-known gamers to combat real and virtual clothing waste

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Vanish, the garment care brand owned by Hull-founded chemical business Reckitt, has partnered with some of Europe’s best-known gamers to encourage consumers to re-wear their clothes and raise awareness of clothing waste.

The #ReSkinChallenge saw Vanish persuade some of the gaming world’s best-known streamers to revert to default ‘skins’ for a week, raising questions and starting conversations in their communities, and disrupting the virtual ‘fast fashion’ trend to drive awareness of the real-life clothing crisis in new and engaged audiences.

High-profile gamers including CaptainPuffy, ShivFPS, FreyzPlayz and fifakillvizualz – who combined boast more than 4.4m Twitch subscribers and are known for their frenzied consumption of the latest skins and in-game clothes – uncharacteristically switched to a basic, default skin for a whole week.

The big reveal that Vanish was behind the #ReSkinChallenge came with a message to gamers to re-wear their clothes, both in-game, and in real life. The gamers then set their communities a challenge to play wearing their very first, or default, skin with Vanish donating £20 to Oxfam for each stream shared.

The activation, created by Havas London and Havas Play with PR from One Green Bean and part of Vanish’s wider #ReWear campaign, was designed to tap into the engaged gaming/streaming community and highlight the growing problems of both virtual ‘fast fashion’ and real world clothing waste.

In the UK, a staggering 350,000 tonnes of clothing is thrown away each year, and Vanish is committed to raising awareness through its #ReWear positioning and purpose to help clothes live longer.

In online gaming, skins – mass-consumed visual effects or clothing that allows players to personalise their character in a purely aesthetic way – are a burgeoning virtual problem. Just like in real life, these skins are at the mercy of the latest trends, typically becoming obsolete within a few months.

As well as a financial cost to the player, typically between £5-50, these frenzied purchases have an environmental cost. Each discarded skin, rather than ending up in landfill like their physical counterpart, is instead stored in a highly energy intensive data centre.

Cigdem Kurtulus, chief marketing and digital officer at Reckitt, said: “The environmental impact of our culture of extreme disposability is becoming just as prevalent in the virtual world as in real life – reinforcing the very behaviour that sees millions of perfectly good items of clothing thrown into landfill every year.

At Vanish, our mission is to help clothes live longer – and the #ReSkinChallenge represents an innovative, playful way to land our #Rewear message, credibly, with new and engaged communities.”

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