love Island ditches fast fashion sponsors for eBay in new deal

4 mins
19 May 2022
love Island ditches fast fashion sponsors for eBay in new deal

2022’s Islanders will wear second-hand clothes, in a first for the show which has previously aligned itself with brands like Missguided

image Love Island

words Jack Ramage

As fast fashion continues to plague the world – with fashion being the planet’s largest polluting industry – it seems the climate-threatening trend has finally given Love Island the ick…

There has long been criticism of the ITV reality dating show’s brand partnerships, with mammoth deals in previous years including I Saw It First and Missguided. Now, Love Island has announced it is instead linking up with eBay for the 2022 edition, offering contestants secondhand fits instead.

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The change in direction was made in a bid to inspire fans to ditch the lure of fast fashion and shop more mindfully. “We strive to be a more eco-friendly production, with more focus on ways in which we can visibly show this on screen,” executive producer of the show, Mike Spencer, told Vogue Business.

“The impact of Love Island and its stars across the UK is undeniable and together we want to inspire the nation to choose preloved first when shopping,” he continued.

“We want to inspire the nation to choose preloved [clothes] first when shopping,” Jemma Tadd, head of fashion at eBay UK, said in a statement. Tadd noted that Love Island’s influence across the UK is “undeniable.”

“It’s a step in the right direction,” she added, “even if this means buying or selling one or two preloved items to start with.”

eBay UK has recently recruited celebrity stylist and secondhand enthusiast, Amy Bannerman, to style this year’s Islanders. Amy has styled celebrities including Dua Lipa, Rita Ora, Sophie Turner, Jonathan Van Ness, and Lena Dunham.

Love Island is one of the most successful reality TV shows in the nation, amassing 3.2 million viewers in last year's finale. In a nutshell, the show features a group of single contestants who live together in a specially constructed villa that is isolated from the outside world in an attempt to find love.

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Critics argue that the fast fashion industry is fundamentally built to be addictive, with marketing and brand deals with shows such as Love Island, fuelling impulsive and addictive purchasing. And it’s for this reason that fast fashion brands are valued in the multiple of billions – only this month, the Chinese fast-fashion giant, Shein, was valued at $100 billion.

Previous Love Island contestants usually go on to sign brand deals, designing or editing their own collections, as well as becoming fashion influencers.

Former contestant Molly-Mae-Hague, is one of the show’s biggest success stories. You might remember her recent controversial comments about work and poverty, and a general lack of knowledge regarding wealth inequality, but she was also appointed as creative director of fast fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing last year. Likewise, Millie Court, who won the show in 2021, caused searches on PLT to rise 127 per cent when she appeared in a one-shoulder marble dress, and 114 per cent when she wore a hot pink co-ord.

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The hope is that this deal with eBay reflects a change in motivation for the show – a push for a more sustainable and ethical fashion which will have a trickle-down effect on the consumer. A previous contestant, Brett Staniland, noted how this new deal was “an unbelievably big step for the show.”

“It will have a massive impact on reducing the stigma of secondhand clothing, especially since the fast fashion consumer overlaps so much with the Love Island viewer.”

New research from eBay highlights that British shoppers are becoming increasingly conscious of fast fashion. 20% of Brits admit that they buy more second-hand fashion compared to two years ago, and say that on average, 16% of their wardrobes are made up of pre-loved clothes.

The research also shows 18 to 34 have the highest average percentage of second-hand clothes in their wardrobe at 22% of participants surveyed. Searches on eBay for ‘preloved clothes’ in 2021 have multiplied eightfold from previous years, with Gen Z driving the trend – 80% say they have recently bought something secondhand.

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