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Love at second sight: Pre-loved fashion sees boost following eBay x Love Island partnership

eBay listings surged 1026% while UK TV show Love Island was on air.
eBay listings surged 1026% while UK TV show Love Island was on air.   -   Copyright  ITV
By Angela Symons

Demand for pre-loved clothing has soared thanks to eBay’s partnership with UK reality TV show ‘Love Island’.

After facing criticism for promoting a polluting industry, the dating show dumped fast-fashion partners I Saw it First and Missguided for its eighth series.

The cost of living crisis coupled with growing awareness of clothing’s environmental impact made Love Island’s 5-million-strong audience receptive to the move.

How has Love Island’s partnership with eBay impacted the pre-loved clothing market?

Less than a month after the series launched, e-commerce platform eBay reported a 700 per cent increase in searches for ‘pre-loved fashion’. Similarly on Google, searches for ‘ebay preloved clothes’ rose by 756 per cent compared to the previous month, while searches for ‘pre-loved’ saw a 660 per cent spike.

In response, sellers also flooded the platform. Live eBay listings increased by 1,026 per cent within three months of the Love Island partnership being announced, according to e-commerce analysts at Optiseller. Since then, the number of listings has been consistently higher than the beginning of the year.

Buying pre-loved clothing has become a choice rather than a necessity

As shoppers grow more ethically conscious, purchasing second-hand has become more than a money-saving exercise.

Over half of UK shoppers feel guilty when they spend money on products that aren’t from a sustainable or ethical brand, according to eBay’s annual ‘Shop for Change’ report.

The poll of over 2,000 consumers also reveals 65 per cent of shoppers stop to think about sustainability before making a purchase, while 50 per cent want to shop more regularly from brands with ethics or sustainability at their heart

Amid the growing cost of living crisis, price still remains an important factor, with 60 per cent of consumers saying cost is the factor they care most about when shopping.

How did Love Island’s partnership with eBay work?

Love Island is watched by millions of Brits thanks to its primetime slot in the evening. On this year's series contestants wore pre-loved items from eBay, sourced from a shared wardrobe in the iconic Love Island villa, and styled by celebrity stylist Amy Bannerman.

For the duration of the series, eBay hosted a style edit inspired by the Islanders' outfits on their site, as well as the Love Island app.

Why is fast fashion such a problem?

Fast fashion touts low-cost garments that are cheaply - and often unethically - produced. It rides catwalk trends, encouraging consumers to refresh their wardrobes each season.

According to the UN Environment Programme, we now buy 60 percent more pieces of clothing than in the year 2000. Each item is only kept for half as long.

The fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water and is responsible for 2-8 percent of global carbon emissions.