Since its launch in 2015, UK summers have been characterised as full of unstable weather conditions and Love Island evenings. ITV has reported that for this year, Love Island has attracted over 1 million viewers within the 16-34 year age bracket – one of only 4 shows released this year in the UK to do so.
Aside from romance and relationship drama since its release, Love Island has been known for its fashion brand partnerships and inspiration. This year, the show hit the headlines after announcing its collaboration with eBay in efforts to move towards a more sustainable image.
Have we seen any initial success for the collaboration?
Short answer: Not yet
With statistics showing that young people are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment, you’d expect this brand partnership to do extremely well.
So, has the new bombshell’s ‘pre-loved’ attire caught the viewers’ attention? Google Trends data reveal that eBay saw 700% more searches for ‘pre-loved fashion’ since they announced the collaboration. However, this does not mean that the collaboration can be said to directly drive purchase intent. The Love Island x eBay collaboration may have sparked people’s interest, but not greatly influenced people to shop at eBay.
The second-hand fashion market is growing, but is eBay in the lead for Love Island’s main demographic?
Low social media engagement and search of the ‘eBay x LoveIsland’ hashtag on twitter shows that this is not resonating with most young people. Tweets such as ”These eBay outfits are ruining my visual experience”, and ”Love Island collaborating with Vinted would have made so much more sense than eBay”, suggests that for most young people, Love Island isn’t quite delivering when it comes to fashion.
It no longer appears to providing the much-loved fashion inspiration that it was known for and, thus, not encouraging or greatly influencing eBay purchase intent. Although eBay is a marketplace for pre-loved clothes, it is not the chosen marketplace for young people.
Most criticisms on social media comment on the lack of style, originality and individuality of the islanders’ fashion. Though fast fashion is not going away, there is a growing love and need for second-hand options with young UK shoppers looking for more affordable and eco-friendly ways to shop
Looking back at the Love Island demographic raises important questions. Where are the main viewers buying their pre-loved clothes from? Though Depop was known as the ‘go to’ for second-hand clothes, Vinted is becoming increasingly popular. In February 2022 Vinted, a second-hand clothing app, was rated the most downloaded fashion app on mobile devices in the UK. With the collapse of fast fashion brands like Topshop and Missguided, young people are finding new alternatives. Research has shown that the second-hand market is expected to grow globally by 127% by 2026.
In order to create more fruitful brand partnerships, greater consideration of WHERE certain demographics are shopping is needed. This way, brands can make sure their move towards sustainability is authentic, credible and well- researched.