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Love Island brand deals: fast fashion vs sustainability

Valentina GolubovicValentina Golubovic
Last updated on:
August 24, 2022
Published on:
August 23, 2022

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This year's reality TV series had the nation glued to their screens. Drawing a whopping 3.4 million during the finale, it's no doubt that fashion brands were eagerly awaiting the islanders to leave the love island villa to recruit their fresh new ambassadors.

What is a brand deal?

A brand deal is usually offered to those with a high social media following. It is essentially a partnership, where the brand (usually a fashion brand) works with the influencer, also known as the "brand ambassador", to promote the brand and the brand's campaign.

How does it work?

Brands will usually target influencers or celebrities with a high social following of the brand's target customer demographic. An influencer will sign a contract and promote the brand on social media and other means.

The influencer will work with the brand on their campaign with the aim of increasing followers and awareness for the brand. This can include but is not limited to, posting pictures on social media channels, attending events, being the face of the brand's new collection, and more.

Concerning Love Island, major fashion brands will target cast members most suited to promote their brand. This year's winner Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu bagged an enormous deal worth £1m with fashion brand Oh Polly, the biggest yet in Love Island history.

Monetary compensation

The compensation received for working with a brand can vary depending on your following. For micro-influencers, it can be an in-kind gift from the brand or both a gift and payment. The more followers an influencer has, the more lucrative their deal would be.

Regulation around influencer advertising for brands

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regulates the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK.

ASA states that for content to count as advertisement, two things must be present:

  1. 'Payment' - this can be gifts or money
  2. The brand had 'control' over the content - whether editorial or approval only

They also insist that advertisements are properly labelled, using wording like 'Ad', 'Ads', and 'Advertisement' and avoiding ambiguous labels such as thanking the brand or just tagging it in the post.

Molly-Mae Hague, a runner-up from love island series five who signed a brand deal with PrettyLittleThing and then became their creative director, has been in trouble with ASA for not labelling her advertisement properly. ASA has created a 'name and shame' page of influencers frequently not following guidelines.

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Fast fashion vs Sustainability

The fashion industry is notorious for its fast-paced and ever-changing trends, launching lots of new products every year. Famous UK fashion brands have been infamous for a number of scandals like, paying workers below minimum wage, lack of safe working conditions, harmful for the environment processes and many more.

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is the process of producing clothes quickly, usually in low wage countries, and getting them to consumer quickly for fast and cheap sale.

This year, for the first time in love island history, the first finalists to announce her brand deal with a sustainable brand was Tasha Ghouri. eBay provided this years contestants with second hand clothes as well as heavily advertising during ad breaks, in a bid to influence viewers to shop responsibly. Tasha became eBay's first pre-loved ambassador, after a summer of showcasing the outfits.

Despite this, islanders are still turning heads to fast fashion brands. The latest to announce a six figure deal was Gemma Owen, the 19 year old who had partnered with PrettyLittleThing (PLT). Interestingly, Gemma's describes her personal swimwear brand as "ethnically made to last", it is argued that PLT is far form ethical as a result of constantly being in the headlines for their poor working practices.

Love Island and eBay collaboration

The eBay and Love Island collaboration has seen positive results, with 700% more searches for pre-loved fashion since the launch while Google reported 756% more searches for ‘eBay preloved clothes’ and 660% more for ‘pre-loved’.

What does this mean for businesses?

The push for a more sustainable solution could change current practices and consumer shopping trends. A lot of high street stores like H&M and Mango are have been changing their practices by offering sustainable and ethical products as well as increasing transparency into their practices.

Popularity in apps like Vinted and Depop, that offers customers and buyers an online marketplace to buy and sell second hand clothes could result in a change in customer shopping habits which may force businesses to seek ways to be more sustainable as well as responsible in their practices.

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