eBay Set As Love Island Sponsor For 2022

Love Island sign their first ever “pre-loved” fashion partner eBay, after 7 years of fast fashion sponsors. 

Returning to our screens once again this June, the reality TV spectacle Love Island has changed one very key element of their show this year, and that is their sponsoring partner. For the first time ever Love Island will be fashioning their love-hungry participants in second-hand clothing, all from eBay.

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The change comes after 3 years of a brand partnership with fast fashion label I Saw It First. A relatively big and extremely necessary jump for the tv programme to make, this is a chance for Love Island to use their influence for good. The show has an enormous attraction each year, particularly for ages between 16-34. Last year ITV bosses reported an audience of 3.3 million across all viewing channels. As an age group (Gen Z) that is already reportedly most at blame for the consumption of fast fashion, despite also being most aware of its environmental damage, it has been argued that programmes such as Love Island feed into this problem.

By advertising and promoting fast fashion, to a generation of individuals who are already rather susceptible to the influence of celebrities and reality TV, they are only contributing to the problem. Now, with the collaboration of eBay, stylist Amy Bannerman will be creating a shared wardrobe of pre-loved clothing that will be shown throughout the entirety of the show. From pool-side bikinis to the final episode’s grand evening gowns, there are plenty of looks that will highlight the versatility of second-hand shopping.

However, there is concern that just like a lot of other high-profile situations, Love Island’s attempts at sustainability are nothing more than a greenwashing fad. As previously mentioned for years prior to now, the show has had strong partnering with fast fashion, with sponsors including the likes of I Saw It First and JD Sports. As well as this, many contestants go on to do brand deals with the likes of Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, ASOS, etc. Most successful of all was Molly Mae, who featured on the show in 2019 and now has a net worth of roughly £2m and is the Creative Director of Pretty Little Thing.

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With so much connection to fast fashion, it is questionable as to why the show has chosen now to draw their attention to becoming a champion for eco-friendly fashion, and if this will follow through with the contestant’s post-show.

However, whatever the reason for such a change what is certain is that it has come at a time when it is imperative not only for the show’s image but also for the planet. The interest in shopping second-hand has grown massively over the past couple of years and could be set to exceed fast fashion by 2029. One of the best ways to ensure this happens is through normalising it within popular culture, and that can be done through television programmes such as Love Island.

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eBay is hopeful that the collaboration with such a prominent show, will bring about positive change. Jemma Tadd, their head of fashion buying stated “It’s a really exciting opportunity for us to change the conversation around fashion. I really hope that it’s going to lead to meaningful change in the industry.” (The Guardian)

We hope so too.

The show is set to air on June 6th, 2022 on ITV 2 and rumours are already milling about who will be contestants for this year. With the line-ups already looking like a regurgitation of the show’s previous years, let’s hope that versatility in brand partnering is not the only change to come this year.

For a further look into the cost of fast fashion, take a read here.