Love Island: A Sustainable Fashion Nightmare

Love it or hate it, the new series of Love Island is back on our screens. Contestants will once again be wearing ISAWITFIRST and viewers have the ability to shop the looks.

A quick look at the statistics shows why partnering with Love Island is so lucrative for ISAWITFIRST. In 2019 the retailer saw a 60% increase in sales week on week following the collaboration. They also achieved a 254% increase in Instagram followers since the first episode, while Twitter followers increased by 61%.

Love Island and Fast Fashion

The endless amount of products we are shown just goes to emphasise the throwaway mentality. I’m sure all of the contestants have wardrobes full of items that could be brought with them. After all, the most sustainable wardrobe is the one you already own.

Don’t get me wrong, when I was going out all the time I would occasionally be guilty of only wearing something once but I have learnt from that. The outfits being advertised are not everyday staples, they are pieces you would wear for a night out. But, they are almost made to just be worn once and then pushed to the back of your wardrobe. Love Island just seems to endorse this single use mentality. Heaven forbid you are seen in the same thing twice! The second viewers see an outfit on Love Island they can shop for it which really encouraged impulse buying.

How could they improve?

No one is really expecting Love Island to be trailblazers when it comes to sustainable fashion. However, given that they are supposedly making more of a commitment to contestants mental health (this remains to be seen) it does go to show that when a lot of pressure is applied by viewers, a change can be made. Instead of advertising a fast fashion brand, why not partner with a fashion rental company instead? Viewers could then hire an Islanders outfit rather than buy it. The viewer then feels like they are trying something new without the negative environmental impact.

I do realise that there are things that you wouldn’t want to hire for hygiene reasons like swimwear. But, there are plenty of sustainable swimwear brands, plastic free swimwear and swimwear made from recycled plastic. I have a post coming up as part of Plastic Free July that highlights come of these.

How about providing the Islanders with capsule wardrobes. That way they have to come up with different ways to style pieces. They can even swap with each other, obviously if of a similar size.

You could argue that each year it is more obvious that many of the contestants go on the show not to find love but to walk away with a six-figure contract with a fast fashion brand.


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