Should We Be Ignoring Love Island’s Mega Influencers?

Love Island brand collaborations

From Missguided to Ebay – the reality TV show’s impact on fast fashion has led us to question what’s happening with Love Island’s brand collaborations? MA Luxury Brand Strategy & Business student Kevin De Silva reports on how Love Island serves as a launching pad for fashion brands to partner up with former Love Island contestants to increase their brand awareness. 


ITV’s British dating game show ‘Love Island’ returned back on screens on 5 June 2023. The reality show features a group of men and women, who participate in a series of tasks with a partner that they keep re-coupling with until they meet the love of their life.


Plot Summary


For those who’s summertime viewing is not ruled by the addictive reality show, ‘Love Island’ is a British dating game show that first aired in 2005. The series is the originator of the international Love Island franchise, which today sees some twenty-two versions being produced so far worldwide. The show is currently presented by Maya Jama and narrated by Iain Stirling.  


The show became ITV2’s most watched programme in the network’s history back in 2018 and has been proven highly successful and influential in British popular culture. As of 2020, it is the most watched television programme among its target audience of 16- to 34-year-olds. According to BBC News, “The 2022 summer series opener had an average TV audience of 2.4 million, while four years ago the launch episode attracted 3.3 million.” Whilst 43% of those watching Love Island are under the age of 30, and another 25% are in their thirties, according to YouGov. Overall the show provides brands unprecedented access to the millennial market to help brands reach, engage and convert young audiences. Product placement and now e-commerce partnerships also help brands amplify their products. 

Love Island Brand collaborations Ebay


Love Island’s Impact on Fast Fashion


Love Island has undeniably made a significant impact on the fast fashion landscape, by cracking the code of distributing a reality show on traditional media that is super-charged for a socially and technologically connected generation. One of the show’s key strengths is that they cast members themselves into the ideal influencer and strategically showcase brands during advertisement breaks that specifically resonate with the desired target audience. 


Many of the Love Island stars use the show as a platform to grow their own personal brands, with a number of contestants developing successful careers across various industries including brand partnerships and mainly social media. This year we saw Love Island moving into a more sustainable conscious brand with eBay. In previous years we have seen partnerships with fast fashion brands like Missguided and I Saw It First.


The collaboration comes after research conducted by eBay which revealed that UK shoppers are becoming increasingly conscious of fast fashion. According to ITV Media “A fifth (20%) of Brits admitted that they buy more second-hand fashion compared to two years ago and revealed on average, that 16% of their wardrobes are made up of pre-loved clothes.” Ebay confirms that Gen Z in particular drives the e-commerce trend, as 80% confirmed that they have recently bought second-hand goods. 


Love Island Brand Collaborations

Tasha Amber Ghouri from Season 8 Pre-Loved Ambassador for Ebay


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Indiyah Polack from Series 8 Brand Ambassador for Pretty Little Thing Marketplace


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Tom Clare from Series 9 Pre-loved Ambassador for Ebay


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A post shared by Tom Clare (@tomclare__)

Love Island’s Impact on Fast Fashion


Love Island’s return to screens in 2023 signifies the continued popularity and influence of the British dating game show. Love Island has not only revolutionised the reality show genre but also has left a lasting impact on the fast-fashion industry. Through their use of strategic casting of “ready-made influencers” and its integration of brand partnerships and product placements have allowed it to reach and engage its target audience effectively. 


As Love Island continues to evolve, it embraces the changing landscape of exploring brand partnerships aligned with conscious branding and sustainability – showcasing the show’s responsiveness to societal trends, especially amongst Gen Z. The show’s recent collaboration with eBay, focuses on sustainability and second-hand clothing, reflecting a growing awareness amongst the new consumers about the environmental impact of fast fashion. As Love Island continues to evolve, it is clear that its influence reaches far beyond the confines of traditional media, making it impossible to ignore the mega influencers born from this ITV hit show. 


By Kevin De Silva – MA Luxury Brand Strategy & Business student