Islamic Lifestyle

Indonesia's Sustainable Modest Fashion Show helps designers rebound from pandemic slump 

Nearly 200 Indonesian fashion designers participated in the Indonesia Sustainable Muslim Fashion Show this week, held by Bank Indonesia and Indonesia Halal Life Center in a bid to revive consumer demand following the two year slowdown brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ali Charisma, chairman of the Indonesian Fashion Chamber and owner of Ali Charisma brand, told Salaam Gateway that the event, which ran from October 27-30, generated a positive response from both retailers and consumers. 

“We have been severely hit by the pandemic in the last two years. There has been no offline fashion show until now and the sale of modest fashion items tends to drop significantly,” he said. “We invited around 400 resellers during the event to boost sales from visitors and we have witnessed that. Overall I would say this event was successful in terms of reviving market appetite.”

Charisma added that the fashion week also demonstrated designers' readiness for the upcoming Eid el Fitr holiday. Although the volume of retail transactions remains low, the upstream industry is ready to meet peak Eid el Fitr demand, he said.  

The global modest fashion segment is estimated to be worth some $361 billion, serving two billion consumers by 2024, according to participants at the Indonesia Sharia Economy Festival. Creative industries account for 7% of Indonesian GDP and half of that amount comes from fashion, according to Diana Yumanita, deputy director of sharia economic and finance department at the Indonesian Central Bank.

Tuty Adib, owner of Bilqis brand, told Salaam Gateway that the modest fashion week is the first offline event she attended in the last two years, as she looks to tap new customers to rebound from pandemic-related losses.

“This fashion week opens new opportunities for us designers who have been finding it hard to display our new items over the last two years. I displayed eight pieces during the fashion show and there were customers ready to buy. It’s a sign that economic activity and purchasing power are slowly beginning to recover,” Adib said.

The benefit of fashion week is not limited to sales, but also serves as a free marketing platform to promote designers. “I sent some pictures from my fashion show to my customers and I’m already getting orders,” Adib added. ”This fashion week lets people know that designers are still producing new items even during the pandemic.”

Adib said modest designers need to focus on sustainability, noting that the overall fashion industry accounts for 20% of industrial waste. He urged the industry to use environmentally-friendly fabrics and packaging materials that can be recycled. This may also mean sourcing local materials used in traditional Indonesian clothing. “I want to bring more Indonesian wastra to the global market. We have very rich wastra and inner beauty as our unique selling point for the global market. But first we need to collaborate with MSMEs and craftswomen and educate them that we need to stay updated with global trends,” Adib said.

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Modest Fashion Week