These sustainable brands think Love Island needs to break up with fast fashion

Love Island ‘has a responsibility to promote sustainable fashion’

Love Island needs to end its love affair with the fast fashion industry. Every year, the programme partners with some of the biggest fast fashion brands, like I Saw It First.

Although contestants arrive with suitcases full of their own clothes, they’re also given access to clothes provided by these brand deals. With a seemingly endless wardrobe at the contestant’s fingertips, there’s minimal re-wearing of clothes in the villa, with disastrous consequences for the environment.

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, responsible for 10 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. 

Whilst a representative from ITV told The Tab that all business decisions are made with “a strong consideration towards ethical standards”, other parties believe Love Island’s approach to fast fashion is encouraging unsustainable behaviours. 

The Tab spoke to two sustainable fashion businesses about Love Island’s toxic relationship with fast fashion:

‘Fashion brands pay for marketing, but they do not pay their workers fairly’ 

 Sandra, the owner of More than Swim, a UK-based sustainable swimwear brand believes Love Island “has a responsibility to promote sustainable fashion.”

Tiffany, the founder and seamstress of Slow Garments, a UK-based sustainable swimwear and clothing business, agreed, pointing out the ethical considerations of partnering with fast fashion brands.  “Unfortunately fashion brands pay for marketing, but they do not pay their workers fairly,” she said. 

Rather than partnering with the same old fast fashion brands, Sandra suggested Love Island partners with sustainable swimwear and fashion companies in the future. Not only would this have a “huge impact” on small businesses, like her own, but she believes it would set an example for others. 

‘Love island has a real chance to encourage change’ 

Tiffany said that Love Island’s approach to fashion can be seen throughout the media, where we “very rarely see a TV presenter re-wearing their garments on TV.”

“This proves it is more than just a Love Island problem”, she added. 

Whilst many shows may be guilty of the same problems, Love Island’s approach towards fashion is important because, as Tiffany points out, “the impact Love Island has on young people’s fashion choices is enormous.”

ITV confirmed that the 2021 premiere was the most-watched digital channel programme of the year for 16-34 year olds, with 2.47 million tuning in. Sandra thinks this means Love Island has “a real chance to encourage change in society”, especially as many young people are already turning away from fast fashion.

Sandra argues that seeing islanders in sustainable brands could be “inspirational” to others and  “open sustainability up to a huge audience.”

This could have “a knock-on effect to bring about change” by encouraging people to view clothes as an “investment rather than something that had been made to the detriment of others and the environment.”

“If we all invest in better-made clothes it won’t only help our eco-system, it will help our economy and people’s work and living conditions”, Sandra said. 

Tiffany agreed that Love Island could play a greater role in promoting sustainability and ethical fashion. She said that whilst there is a danger of Love Island’s approach to sustainability being “tokenistic”, she “would be pleased that it would raise the topic with the audience.”

‘They have the money and the team to come up with some great ideas’

Of course, sustainability neither starts nor ends with fashion. Sandra sees Love Island as having a huge role in promoting sustainable choices, from “reusable makeup pads” to “decorating the walls with sustainable materials.”

“They have the money and the team to come up with some great ideas”, she told The Tab. 

Love Island’s huge cultural influence means it has a responsibility to do better when it comes to fashion. Sandra believes the platform should be used to as “part of the solution in improving the lives of people and our planet”, Sandra added. 

ITV statement

A spokesperson for ITV said: “Any decisions across our business are always made with a strong consideration towards ethical standards.

“We would always expect any sponsors, products, or services to adhere to all applicable laws. Amongst other things, our sponsorship terms always state that sponsors are not to engage in any activities which would constitute modern slavery.

“We also require any parties who produce ITV branded products to adopt ethical and responsible business practices including complying with local laws on employment and working conditions and for any licensed products to be manufactured in a safe, hygienic working environment.”

I Saw It First was also approached for comment. 

Love Island 2021 continues on ITV2 at 9pm tonight. For all the latest Love Island news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook. 

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