One of the first products aimed specifically at prolonging the life of black clothes was Persil Black Velvet, targeting young professionals who would buy into it because "they recognise black has to be looked after and light black really equals grey", says Lever Fabergé.
When it launched the product it placed much emphasis on areas which were not its usual communications channels, such as mainline railway stations.
Procter & Gamble's response was Dreft Dark and there have been several other similar products since.
Alongside these developments are multi-purpose booster products such as Orange Glo Europe's OxiClean Multi Purpose Stain Remover that can be used as a pre-wash or in-wash booster, and Reckitt Benckiser's Vanish OxiAction powder which acts as an in-wash booster, stain remover, soaker or spot stain treater. Both products rely on active oxygen to work through the fibres of clothes.
And, in an innovation that takes the washing out of the washing machine and out of the home, come the newly launched OxiClean instant spot remover wipes.
These are individually wrapped wipes which fit into handbags, wallets and glove compartments and are claimed to wipe away stains on the spot.
OxiClean says it currently has more than 5% market share with only 2 SKUs (500g and 1,000g) in 22% of outlets, while Vanish expects OxiAction to deliver £3.5m incremental value to the category in its first year.

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