Love Island looked like eBay’s best hope of ending its rocky relationship with consumers and investors last June. Earlier this month, the duo renewed their vows to kick off the UK dating show’s current season.

The once high-flying online marketplace has struggled in recent years, even as the broader e-commerce space it pioneered has continued to grow exponentially. But signs of recovery have appeared recently. Efforts to reinvigorate its ties with a changing retail landscape were evident when eBay participated in a $9 million investment round by UK-based luxury apparel and accessories reseller Cudoni.

The resale market has increasingly drawn consumers — and influencers, in particular — who are concerned about the unsustainable business of traditional fashion marketing. eBay’s new eco-conscious interest appears to have attracted it to the UK’s hottest show.  

It sounds like an odd match, perhaps. But Love Island’s impact on fashion culture and the influencer market is undeniable. It’s the dating reality TV show that we’ve all come to know, whether that’s through choice or not. And last year’s finale broke its own records with an impressive 3.2 million viewers tuning in.

Love Island was once synonymous with fast fashion. Past partnerships included that retail segment’s brands such as I Saw It First and Missguided. Thanks to impressive ratings across both streaming and live TV, the show created its own ecosystem within the fashion market.

As the show’s popularity grew, it was able to draw in influencers as well, which may have been the driving force behind the sponsorship with the second-hand marketplace, eBay, in the summer of 2022.

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