The effects of Love Island to the fast-fashion empire

Chloe Buchan shares her thoughts on the impact of Love Island's fast fashion addiction.

Chloe Buchan
9th February 2020
From Pxfuel by creative commons
If you want to gauge a strong opinion, casually slip the words ‘Love Island’ into a conversation; anyone under twenty-one will most likely sing its praises and rattle off a string of opinions regarding the couples and their actions.

Meanwhile, anyone over that age will probably shake their head in faux disapproval at the show- that they really secretly binge and watch in the evening when everyone else is in bed.

Regardless of age or class, Love Island is something which binds the nation; at work, school and university; heated discussions regularly occur surrounding the actions of the notorious love rat or the girl who is clearly ‘playing a game’. Whether you love or loathe it, love island is ultimately a harmless and light-hearted programme and a great conversation starter right?

Although at face value merely a shallow form of entertainment surrounding love and relationships, could Love Island actually be perpetuating the harmful fast fashion culture which is rapidly killing our planet? Sustainability is a worldwide buzzword at the moment – particularly with the rise of global warming- however, Love Island can’t seem to keep up.

Instagram: @isawitfirst

Every year, the show is sponsored by a notorious fast fashion brand- this year being ‘I Saw it First’. Every year they seem to take this up a notch – it has now reached a point where the clothes of the islanders are displayed nightly on the ‘Love Island’ app, meaning that you can shop the exact outfits of the islanders as you watch them, all from your phone. 

This ease and convenience foster a dangerous throw-away culture in which single-use outfits are seen as standard. It would be rare to see the islanders wear the same outfit twice during the series, thus normalising the understanding that clothes should be worn once and subsequently discarded. Given the ridiculously cheap prices of ‘I Saw it First’- 50% off everything, buy now pay later, £15 dresses and £7.50 tops- it's easy enough for the general public to keep up with this fast fashion.

Not only this, but the retailer can make use of the limitless advertising in the forms of the islanders themselves. The women with their long lean bodies, flowing hair extensions, tan and flawless makeup, and the males with their chiselled bodies provide the perfect canvas upon which the clothes can be displayed, thus providing a false expectation that everybody can look equally as flawless if they purchase the same neon green bodysuit or denim shorts. 

sustainable fashion is on the rise, ‘Love Island’ is undermining this

All in all, the fashion retailers as well as the producers of love island are playing a clever and dangerous game, with an ominous future for the planet. While sustainable fashion is on the rise, ‘Love Island’ is undermining this by feeding a negative cycle of throwaway fashion and everchanging trends. The show could use its huge platform to promote environmentally friendly brands, and yet it doesn’t: instead, they put out a message that fast fashion is okay and acceptable, something which fundamentally has to change. 

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