Vanish, the clothing care brand committed to helping clothes live longer, is today, calling on the public to take ‘The More Than Just Clothes Pledge’ as part of a new project created by Havas LondonMore Than Just Clothes – launching at the beginning of World Autism Acceptance Month.

Led by the insight that 70% of autistic people think their lives would improve if people understood why clothes matter, the project is designed to drive behavioural change by deepening the public’s understanding of why clothes matter to autistic people and showing how we can all help.

For many autistic people, clothes are more than just clothes; they can help with sensory regulation, provide routine, acceptance, and comfort. This means that for many autistic people right now, the rules, restrictions and expectations that are placed on clothes, do not take into consideration their needs. In turn, creating additional barriers that can make life more challenging. For example, 56% of autistic young people have said that going to school is a daily challenge because of the school uniform and 1 in 3 autistic people have decided not to apply for a job because of a mandatory workplace uniform.*

The project introduces ‘The More Than Just Clothes Pledge’, which engages and equips the general public and key decision-makers in schools, businesses, sports clubs and event venues with the information they need to support the clothing needs of autistic people. Sitting across the Ambitious about Autism’s website, the pledge asks people to recognise that clothes matter to many autistic people, by remembering JUST– J: Leave Judgement out of clothing. U: Understand the clothing needs of autistic people. S: See clothes as Sensory tools. T: Help everyone Thrive by feeling empowered to wear clothes they’re comfortable in.

The pledge is supported by ‘The More Than Just Clothes Pledge Book’ - an online educational tool based on autistic people’s stories and experiences – which provides more information about the importance of clothing and inclusive approaches to clothing. A social toolkit is also available for those who have signed the pledge, including posters and a ‘badge’ which can be shared across social channels to encourage others to join.

To drive further awareness of the pledge, Vanish is partnering with Christine McGuinness for a second year, along with a selection of micro-influencers from key areas where change is needed the most; schools, businesses and sports. Each will produce social posts for their channels, encouraging the public to sign up to the pledge. Havas London worked alongside One Green Bean to bring this partnership to life.

The project launches with two 60-second documentary films which tell the stories of two autistic teens, Cozzie and Lani – in their own words. To bring to life their own personal and visceral relationship with an item of clothing, the films use animation to represent how each girl feels when they wear their favourite garment. In the second year of the partnership between Vanish and Ambitious about Autism, both films aim to elevate more voices and tell more stories, as no two autistic people’s experiences are the same.

Find out more on Havas London.