Second-Hand Fashion Has Entered The Villa
Written by Haven Hathaway
Love Island was one of the hit TV shows of the summer, and this year, the contestants entered the villa in search of their new-found love while wearing their pre-loved clothes. Even if you don’t want to admit it, you have probably tuned in once to watch the “rotating cast of young, attractive contestants flirt, fight and flaunt their style.”
The UK and the U.S. version have taken the media by storm and are “arguably more famous for turning contestants into fast fashion influencers than helping them find love,” said Vogue Business. The reality show launches the careers of some of the next biggest Instagram and TikTok influencers, so it’s great to see that they dropped some of their fast fashion partnerships in the 2022 season for eBay, promoting second-hand fashion. The contestants are “diversifying their wardrobe” with pre-worn and second-hand clothing.
eBay created a campaign that helps its customers “find the pre-love of their lives.” The campaign videos highlight Love Island contestants’ unboxing sourced second-hand clothing. The Chief Marketing Officer at eBay, Eve Williams, said this partnership was unexpected, making it even more impactful.
BOF highlighted that in past years, the show had significant partnership deals with fast fashion companies such as Misguided and I Saw It First but received backlash for encouraging this toxic fashion culture, prompting them to take a different approach for the 2022 season.
Viewers follow fashion and trend inspiration from the contestants; therefore, fans can now download the show's app to shop the curated eBay collection and get the looks your favorite Islanders were wearing. eBay’s website also included features where if a customer searched “Love Island Outfits,” specific items from the show would pop up in their shopping feed.
Business Insider spotlighted a quote from Karen Pearson, chair of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Sustainability Council, ‘“This is a way to promote sustainability to a broad audience and make resale accessible, she said. Small changes by a lot of people can have a big impact.”’
With the help of Gen Z and Millennials, who are leading the charge of shopping resale and second-hand, 17,770 tons of fashion items were kept out of UK landfills in 2021, the equivalent of 1,404 double-decker buses.
However, the show couldn’t escape fast fashion entirely. Even though viewers were searching on eBay for items such as “blue PVC top” or “green mini dress,” if they were to conduct a simple Google search, fast fashion brands like PrettyLittleThing or OhPolly would've grabbed their attention first.
Fast fashion brands were able to sell and market something similar to the eBay pieces on screen, and nothing supplies fast-fashion like consumer demand.
The real question is, how do we make consumers willingly choose to shop resale over a fast fashion brand in the future? With the help of Islanders, who are now at the forefront of social media, they can continue to promote sustainable fashion and healthier consumption habits and influence their audience.
These campaigns and partnerships prove that people recognize their power and are finding the energy to use their influence to make sustainability and an eco-friendly environment the new fashion-forward.
I hope we continue to see second-hand shopping and maybe even fashion rental apps enter the Love Island villa in future seasons. Also, I hope we will see other TV shows start promoting their love and appreciation for second-hand clothing to future generations of fashion trendsetters.
-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style
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