How Love Island is helping to give second-hand clothes another chance

Since its first bombshell graced our screens back in 2015, Love Island has had a massive impact on British popular culture. The launch of this year’s series pulled in three million UK viewers — eclipsing figures from all other channels’ programming, as well as the overnight audience of any streaming premiere in 2022.

Capitalising on this huge platform, the show and its stars have enjoyed lucrative deals with various fast fashion brands. This year, however, showrunner heads were turned by more sustainable fashion efforts: teaming up with online marketplace eBay to promote second-hand fashion.

Looking at the rising popularity of preloved clothes, this could be a wise recoupling for the ITV2 phenomenon — but how will it affect the clothing industry? Should you get involved in second-hand selling? Gather around the fire pit and let’s discuss.

Why has fast fashion been dumped from the island?

Following successful partnerships with brands like I Saw It First and Missguided, Love Island has moved on to sustainable wear quicker than Ekin-Su jumped from Davide to Jay… and then from Jay to Charlie, and then from Charlie back to Davide. You get the picture. This year, style supervisor Amy Bannerman was enlisted to dress contestants using preloved fashions bought directly from eBay sellers. Meanwhile, host Laura Whitmore was spotted repurposing her iconic outfit from 2020’s finale for the first episode of the new series. But what’s brought on the sudden change?

The answer lies in the new direction of the show’s sponsorships, following growing concern among consumers about non-sustainable fashion practices. In recent years, activists (including ex-islanders) have called out the environmental consequences of fast fashion — including excessive water use, landfill waste and microfibre plastic pollution.

According to a report by Quantis, the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will increase by a further 49% by 2030 if they continue at current rates, threatening the environment with unsustainable contributions to climate change. Preloved fashion promoters are therefore looking to shift consumer habits and remove the stigma surrounding second-hand sales. This is where Love island comes in: by showing off the contestants wearing trendy preloved clothes, supporters hope that young people will be encouraged to add some to their wardrobes when it comes time for a refresh. It makes sense, after all — who wouldn’t want to look like Indiyah?

What will happen next?

While it’s too early to say for sure how the Love Island marketing machine will influence consumer decisions, it is looking likely. A new report by eBay Ads has seen an upturn in the past year of searches for “upcycled” by 40% and “second hand” by 24%. Though this isn’t a result of the new series, it’s indicative of how consumer tides are turning against the buying habits of yesteryear — like purchases that are worn just seven times before being discarded.

With the continued popularity of eBay and the rise of other second-hand marketplaces like Depop and Vinted, all the evidence is pointing at a shift towards sustainable fashion. This could be further propelled by the cost of living concerns in the UK, as more people look to resell items instead of just binning them once they’ve served their purpose (we’re all guilty of that, aren’t we Jay?).

Should I sell on eBay?

If you’re in the market to sell, eBay is still your best bet. With over 159 million active users, there are plenty of opportunities to make money from beloved second-hand clothes and other goods — just make an account, photograph your wares, and list them at a price that will get heads turning.

When starting out, you’ll want to price items fairly cheaply. This is because you won’t have much of a reputation as a seller — nobody likes being “mugged off”, so some buyers will avoid these listings altogether. But once you’ve got a few sales under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to building a good seller rating. This is a vital tool to show potential buyers that you can be trusted because other people have bought from you and had a positive experience. After all, sometimes it’s best to let other people test the waters first — just ask Paige, she coupled up with Gemma’s ex.

How can I improve my seller rating?

Achieving the coveted high seller rating is what will set you apart on eBay — and if second-hand is coming into fashion, then you’ll want to stand out and make good sales.

There are many ways to boost your rating, but one of the most effective is to provide fast and reliable delivery. To that end, your choice of courier is important — you’ll need a speedy service that can fulfil your orders on short notice. For example, CitySprint offers priority delivery with next-day or even same-day turnaround, which is sure to keep your customers loyal.

Another quick tip is to provide the most accurate item descriptions that you can when listing. There’s a reasonable amount of wear and tear that buyers should expect if they’re buying preloved clothes, but it’s important to be honest about any visible damage and clarify this with photos and item descriptions, in order to manage customer expectations and avoid complaints.

In summary, Love Island is ushering in a new age of sustainable fashion, and we couldn’t be happier about it. eBay has been going strong for years, but it’s still a great tool that will get you on top of the preloved trend — and once you’ve got successful sales to your name, you’ll be everyone’s type on paper.

Written by Steven

Steven is a young student from San Francisco who is obsessed with computers.

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