It’s back after over a year’s hiatus. No, not the European Championships or COP26. Love Island, where 12 scantily clad singletons attempt to couple up, find love, and win £50,000.
Not even a global pandemic could stop this TV reality and ratings powerhouse.
Love Island is a ratings phenomenon and a sustainability car crash. In spite of being broadcast throughout plastic-free July, the show is awash with plastic. Not just surgery, but water bottles, straws, and flip flops too. Plus, if you want to “turn heads” and “do bits” – Love Islandese to attract someone for low-level sexual activity – you need to be wearing fast fashion’s finest offerings.
The most-watched show of the summer, online clothing retailer ISAWITFIRST has seen a 67% increase in sales since its collaboration with Love Island. Islanders whip their outfits on and off so frequently, it’s amazing fabric friction burns aren’t as prolific as the sunburn.
Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the show before. The Islanders don’t do “natural”. From hair-extensioned head to shellacked toe, with a lot of slap, fake tan, and hairspray thrown in for good measure, it takes a lot of non-environmentally friendly product to achieve the Love Island look.
So how to watch this hugely addictive, guilty pleasure-fest and feel a little less guilty about its evident lack of green credentials?
Let’s see how Love Island could become a bit more Love The Planet.
1. S’well Stainless Steel White Marble Bottle
If they aren’t sucking face, the contestants are generally slurping water from personalised reusable water bottles. Whilst these are 100% BPA-free, they are still made from plastic and sold in copious amounts to fans via the show’s online store. We produce 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. And it takes a plastic bottle about 450 years to biodegrade. Why not get the contestants each a stainless steel S’well white marble bottle instead? Whilst looks aren’t everything – hold up, correction, in the Love Island house apparently looks ARE everything – this triple-insulated, wide-mouth marbled design keeps you looking hot and your drink ice cold.
Get it here.
2. Sea2see Recycled Ocean Plastic Eyewear
Sunglasses are essential in the Love Island house, seemingly to be worn from the moment you wake until sundown, mostly indoors and at night. And in bed. Always in bed. So why not swap those sustainably-shady shades for Italian-designed sunglasses from recycled marine plastic waste? Gathering an average of one tonne of plastic waste every 2 days, 1 kilo of marine plastic waste goes into 1 pair of Sea2see frames. Donned by celebrities such as Javier Bardem, Helena Christensen, and Antonio Banderas, we think the Garbos or the Storms would look particularly good with pajamas.
Get them here.
3. Tabitha Eve Face Cleansing Pads
Watching the Love Island girls making themselves up is like watching soldiers preparing for battle. Just with lipgloss and contouring brushes rather than grenades. Not so great is watching them remove the warpaint with a copious amount of single-use disposable wipes. May we suggest these plastic-free cotton pads? They make make-up removal easy and eco-friendly. Made from organic cotton and bamboo, each pad is approximately 3 inches across and super soft. Once used, throw them in the washing machine and leave them to dry naturally. Ready for the next battle of the sexes and exes.
Get them here.
4. Depop X Second-hand ISAWITFIRST Pleated Gold Knit Dress
When one of last year’s Islanders wore a floral white dress for a first date on the show, it sold out within hours. No wonder fast fashion companies are falling over themselves to get a piece of the shoppable show’s pie. But what’s the true cost of this cheap, throwaway clothing? The Clean Clothes 2019 campaign research showed that in the UK, one in three fast fashion items ended up in a landfill. Plus, fast fashion production processes allow toxic waste to go straight outside to pollute waters causing one-fifth of industrial water pollution. Whilst the Islanders don’t like being sloppy seconds, they could try wearing them. The second-hand economy was valued at $24 billion as of 2018 and is projected to grow to nearly 1.5 times the size of the fast fashion market within the next 10 years. This gorgeous ISAWITFIRST number can be found on platforms like Depop, Vestiaire Collective, The RealReal, thredUp, and Tradesy. #IWOREITSECOND
Get it here.
5. Bluesky Gum Gel Nail Kit
Let’s face it, Edward Scissorhands and Freddy Kruger have nothing on the female Islanders’ talons. However, their long-lasting gel manis, powder dip polishes, and longer-than-life acrylics are a nail in the planet’s coffin. Gels and acrylics are non-degradable. Nail polish and its removers are considered hazardous waste because they sit in landfills and leach toxic components into the soil. Plus they cause an array of neurological, reproductive, and carcinogenic issues. The good news? Nowadays, there are lots of sustainable brands out there, offering ethical, environmentally friendly nail products. Bluesky’s extensive range is vegan, cruelty, and chemical-free. Go on girls – nail your mani (and your man.)
Get it here.
6. Fairphone 3 Plus Sustainable Smartphone
“I got a text.” Never in the history of reality tv – nay, the world – have four little words carried such a mixture of joy, fear, hope, and excitement. The Islanders have all been provided with smartphones to ensure no one suffers from selfie withdrawal. However, the electronics industry is not known for its eco-friendliness, and 65,000 tonnes of electronic garbage is created by cellphones every year in the US. But the Fairphone 3 Plus is a stunner of a sustainable smartphone. From responsible material sourcing to advocating for workers’ welfare, the Fairphone 3 Plus boasts 48MP and 16MP cameras, a 5.65 inch full HD+ display, and a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 5 screen. Fanny flutters ahoy.
Get it here.
7. Fisch Coquillage Cousteau Red Bikini
Forget the Shard, the Burj Khalifa, even the Pyramids. You want awe-inspiring architecture and engineering – check out the swimwear on this season’s Love Island. This year – underboob is the new cleavage. Never has so much been held in place by so little. Whilst it cannot promise to defy the laws of physics, this sexy red Fisch bikini is more than capable of getting the guys to do some grafting. Super-sustainable, all Fisch swimwear uses ECONYL® a 100% regenerated nylon fiber made from ghost fishing nets and other nylon waste that litter our oceans. Underboob optional.
Get it here.