Missguided sponsored Love Island back in 2018, with statistics revealing that sales spiked by 40 per cent between 7pm and midnight when the show aired. Not only do sales spike as consumers see styles on the screen, but fast fashion brands are also able to capitalise on sales after the show has finished by securing brand deals with ex-islanders and benefitting from their new-found influence. Consumers, particularly young ones, look to reality stars for fashion inspiration and so it is understandable why brands will pay for their products to be advertised. However, when they stop paying the suppliers and people that are making the products, these big brand deals become hard to warrant. It is no longer responsible for these businesses to encourage such high demand given the detrimental impacts that the fast fashion business model has on human rights and the environment.
Although the move to second-hand fashion is undoubtedly one in the right direction for a show as prominent as Love Island, the difference it will actually make is questionable. While on one-hand the show is most popular with the demographic that needs to be convinced to ditch unsustainable fast fashion shopping habits. If ex-islanders continue to sign big brand deals after the show, they will continue to influence young shoppers’ habits and continue to drive profit for the industry. Real change must come from fast fashion brands themselves, and this is the chance for both reality stars and the wider public to call them out on it.
The move by Love Island has also been criticised for being an attempt to stay relevant, rather than an attempt to be sustainable. Driven by changes in consumer values, increased sustainability awareness and vintage fashion trends making a comeback, the growth of the pre-loved clothing market in recent years has been remarkable. Whether based on good intentions or not, the partnership with eBay is setting the tone that fashion can be both trendy and sustainable on national television, and it is hard to have a problem with that.
As the attitudes of customers have changed, the sustainability of brands is becoming more and more crucial to their future, with the collapse of Missguided proving exactly that. It is time for fast fashion brands to come of age, re-prioritise their efforts and take a green future seriously.
On this note, it is important to emphasise that actions must be taken seriously. A report published last year by the Changing Markets Foundation found that almost 60% of sustainability claims by leading British and European fashion brands, including ASOS, H&M and Zara, could be classed as “unsubstantiated” and “misleading”. It is important that brands. The fashion industry is among the worst offenders of greenwashing, and with the concept becoming a growing concern it is important that brands actually do better rather than just claiming to be.
For more information on creating a sustainability policy for your business, check out our Sustainability Policy Toolkit and Template and Sustainability Reporting Guide and Template. If you would like help and support to get started or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with the Ardea team via email@example.com