Love Island partners with eBay to dress contestants in second-hand outfits | the island of love
Love Island is always a breeding ground for fashion trends with contestants often wearing multiple outfits in each episode. But this season, these outfits will be different – they will be second-hand.
Contestants of the reality show, which airs again next month, will receive a wardrobe of favorite pieces to wear after ITV’s partnership with eBay.
This is a big change for Love Island. For the past three years, fast fashion company I Saw It First – which sells clothes for just £2.80 – has sponsored the show and provided contestants with clothing and accessories.
But the show changed course after criticism from sustainability advocates for encouraging a throwaway attitude towards fashion.
While the contestants will also be wearing their own clothes this season, they are encouraged to take an “eat, sleep, re-wear, repeat” attitude to their outfits.
Announcing the partnership, Mike Spencer, the executive producer of Love Island, mentioned“As a show, we are striving to be a more environmentally friendly production by focusing more on ways to show that visibly on screen… This partnership will allow our islanders to dive into cabinets shared and avail of some of the amazing second-hand clothes from eBay.
Jemma Tadd, head of fashion buying at eBay, believes the show’s reach has the power to change consumer perceptions of second-hand clothes. “Love Island is a global phenomenon, no one can deny that,” she says. “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to change the conversation around fashion. I really hope this leads to meaningful change in the industry.
With audience figures reaching up to 3 million people per episode, Love Island’s influence on what consumers buy is well documented. I Saw It First saw a 67% increase in sales and a 254% increase in Instagram followers in 2019. When contestant Molly-Mae Hague wore one of their dresses, it sold out within 10 minutes. Last year, Millie Court, who won the show, was the most influential when it came to style. Online searches for “marble dress” increased 127% and searches for “hot pink ensembles” increased 114% when she wore these items.
This year’s contestants will demonstrate just how stylish second-hand clothes can be and break down any remaining stigma around second-hand clothes.
Tadd sees this as the biggest win. “Seeing the pre-loved fashion celebrated on screen and being talked about will help everyone understand how easy it is to achieve those fashion-forward looks,” she says.
Amy Bannerman, who has worked with celebrities such as Dua Lipa, Rita Ora and Lena Dunham, will style contestants, and viewers will be able to “purchase the show” on the Love Island app, with eBay finds available.
The shift to second-hand styling is in line with Love Island’s 16-34 demographic. Research by eBay found that 18-34 year olds have the highest average percentage of second-hand clothes in their wardrobe (22%), compared to 12% for those over 55. Eighty percent of Gen Z, those under 24, have recently bought something second-hand.
Tadd says the partnership could encourage a shift in buying habits. “We’re not saying to wear whatever is pre-loved, that’s not who we are as creatures,” she says. “But I think it’s about small swaps or additions that we can make in a wardrobe. Ultimately, that makes it a step in the right direction.