After partnering with the fast-fashion brand I Saw It First, the reality show Love Island will now sign second-hand clothes on eBay to show more responsibility.
If reality TV personalities are involved in so many sponsored content cases and scandals, it’s because brands have understood the power of influencer marketing to sell something like hotcakes. Including fast-fashion brands that do product placement in shows, so that the slightest appearance of a candidate is reflected in potential sales.
This is the case of Love Islanda British dating game show and to date which is a hit: up to 3 million viewers per episode, in the UK alone, and variations in other countries. And eBay UK replaces fast-fashion label I Saw It First, which sponsored the past three seasons, with second-hand fashion of his clothes sold from 2.80 pounds sterling (or barely 3.30 €).
Love Island’s huge fashion impact with fast fashion
Since the contestants wore different outfits for each episode, it was a massive advertisement for the company that heavily benefits from influencer marketing, as evidenced by the name itself (“I saw it first”). I Saw It First saw a 67% increase in sales and a 254% jump in Instagram followers in 2019reports the Guardian† In fact, each contestant’s performance caused spikes in online searches for similar outfits.
But the new season of Love Island which will debut on British television in June 2022, has eBay as its official fashion partner† This US marketplace also sponsors the entire channel that broadcasts the show, ITV. And since this online site is full of second-hand fashion, candidates will be wearing a lot of these clothes (as well as their own personal clothes).
Dress contestants in second hand, eBay UK and Love Island bet
The British media Guardian reports the words of the executive producer of Love IslandMike Spencer, about this big step for reality TV and small step for more responsible fashion worldwide †
“As a representation, we strive for a more environmentally friendly production focusing more on ways to show this visibly on screen… Through this partnership, our islanders will dive into shared closets and help themselves great second hand clothes from ebay† †
Since this is a hugely popular show worldwide, this different way of dressing could therefore have a global impact on the image that some of the general public can have of second-hand fashion.
Does reality TV rhyme too much with fast fashion?
Because until now, reality TV shows have had rather dangerous contacts with fast-fashion giants. For example, the finalist of the fifth season of Love Island in 2019, Molly-Mae Haag had such a fashion influence that she became the creative director of the ultra fast-fashion brand Pretty Little Thing in August 2021.
But the one who didn’t have an ounce of study, know-how, or professional experience in making, designing, or styling clothes was thanked by Pretty Little Thing in December 2021, after participating in the podcast. A CEO’s Diary by Steven Bartlett. Molly-Mae Hague, 22, claimed we all had 24 hours in a day, so poor people just weren’t working hard enough to get out of their financial instability (Kim Kardashian would certainly have agreed).
Yes some reality TV careers turn out to be as fleeting as a viral fashion trend on TikTokwould they extend their lifespans if they gained awareness, both in terms of clothing and social justice?
Season 8 of Love Island will debut in the UK on ITV2 in June.
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Front page photo credit: Love Island © ITV.