12 January 2023

This is how Love Island contestants’ preloved outfits are chosen

12 January 2023

The winter edition of Love Island is back on ITV2 on January 16, when a slew of singles will be heading to a luxury villa in South Africa in search of romance.

Maya Jama will be presenting for the first time, having taken over from former host Laura Whitmore, while the reality show’s partnership with eBay (ebay.co.uk) to highlight preloved fashion has been renewed for a second season.

Last summer, as part of a move away from fast fashion, contestants wore a range of vintage pieces sourced from the online marketplace, with eBay reporting a subsequent 1,600% rise in searches for ‘pre-loved clothes’.

Shopping secondhand isn’t always as simple as selecting the right size from a retailer, so how exactly are Love Island contestants’ preloved outfits chosen?

We caught up with eBay’s preloved fashion stylist, Amy Bannerman, who will once again be dressing the Islanders, to find out more…

How do you start the styling process for each season?

“It has worked differently this season to last season. Last season we were starting from completely zero inventory, and then we bought around 2,000 items.

“Anything that got worn on the show got auctioned for charity on eBay, so that’s gone out of the inventory, then we did a really, really ruthless edit. And that was down to about 480 things.

“Then [I] made a plan from there. I came up with the trends, so four micro-trends, then we started shopping again.”

Do you buy the clothes on eBay yourself?

“We buy it in exactly the same way – no one knows who we are. If we really want something we’ll [ask the seller], ‘Would you do a Buy It Now?’, but we’re not saying, ‘We’re doing Love Island, you need to give us this’.

“We did have my name on the shipping last year, but people kept posting stuff on their Instagram about, ‘I’ve just sent this to Love Island’ – I had to change it to make it a bit more covert!

“So it’s just exactly as you would if you were buying stuff for yourself if you’re going to South Africa on holiday.”

Do you shop with contestants’ personal style in mind?

“We meet 18 of [the contestants] at the ITV press day. I ask them very specific questions and have a questionnaire, and then we buy really honed in pieces.

“There was a Versace top, the yellow one Tasha Ghouri wore last year, we found it in green this season. [One new contestant] was obsessed, and I managed to find another one, so she’s got this dream top to wear when she goes in, which is really exciting.

“Some people are very, very specific. And that’s the beauty of eBay, that you can get anything you want. So if they say, ‘I’ve always wanted these specific jeans’, we’re really like on a mission, my team and I, to go off and find them.”

What pieces are you most excited to see on screen this season?

“That’s one of the things which is so great this season – because we have this inventory from last season and I earmarked things, they’re going back in.

“That’s the message we’re trying to convey – different people wear things in different ways. A lot of people think, ‘If I’ve worn it once, I don’t want to wear it again’. But this is the message – if someone else has worn it, it doesn’t matter.”

Why do you think preloved fashion has become so popular in recent years?

“I think it’s a mixture of things. I think people are more environmentally conscious, people are reflecting on their shopping habits and making changes which are hopefully here to stay.

“I think because it’s become cool – Love Island’s a really good example. You can’t go from using a really fast fashion brand with a bad reputation to using preloved, then back to that – it would just look completely disingenuous.”

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