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Indonesia moving ahead with modest clothing


Indonesia’s garment industry is likely to grow by almost 10.45 % in the first half of 2022. However, demand is rebound to only 75 % of pre-COVID levels. In recent decades the popularity of the modest  clothing industry in Indonesia is highly thriving. Modest fashion has become an interesting topic among the wearers of the fashionable world. Indonesian Modest fashion consists of diversified styles and trends. It is inspired by multinational factors yet maintains a local tradition and flavor.

Figure 1: Indonesian Modest fashion consists of diversified styles and trends. 

Behind the story of popularity

A few decades ago modest clothing was not very common in Indonesia, but nowadays it has become a trend not only for those who wear the dress but also in the apparel manufacturing sector. Busana Modesta is the term used for Modest dress for Women in Indonesia; it prevails in any investiture including women’s head-covering. With this fashion of wearing Islamic clothing, numerous styles have emerged making Modest fashion one of the trendy topics to be discussed by the fashion & apparel industry.

During the 1980s the wearing of face veils was generally limited to the adherents of the  Darul Arqam,(a Malaysian-based Islamic movement). The face-veil has become more comprehensive since the year 2000 with the growth in popularity of some Salafi groups. The history of the Islamic clothing Industry in Indonesia has significantly influenced the particular styles of dress worn by the general people of Indonesia. Dictions from Yemen as well as from became Saudi Arabia was very cultural and famous, singularly when the men from those countries started to marry Indonesian women. Till now the use of the Arabian abaya which is used as a head-to-toe wrap covering and some styles cover up the whole body now is a popular attire in Indonesia.

Current statistics

According to the data from the Indonesia Bureau of Statistics, Indonesia ranked 13th in the world in the export of modest clothing in 2021.The monetary value of which is $4.68 billion. It is about 12.49% higher than the year 2020. In 2020, Indonesia exported garments worth around $4.16 billion.

Indonesia exported modest clothing worth $2.35 billion from the month January to May in 2022, Which is up to 4.42% from the same period in 2020. Revenue in the Fashion division is prominent to reach at least $9.30 billion in 2022. With a projected market volume of $312.20 billion in 2022, most revenue is generated in China. The average revenue per user (ARPU) is near $105.60.

Figure 2: Zulkifli Hasan, Trade Minister, Indonesia.

Indonesia’s Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said,” His Government is working to make Indonesia an icon of Modest fashion for the whole world by the year 2024 and they are providing all kinds of support to export more from here.”

He said,” our goal is very clear. By 2024, Indonesia will be a model of Modest fashion for the world”.

Some issues and impediment

According to The International Labor Organization statistics, around 2 million people’s livelihood is related to the apparel and garment industry in the country of Indonesia. Risks from global inflation and geopolitical crisis are also casting a shadow over the garments manufacturing sector. Indonesia’s central bank in April lowered its full-year economic growth estimate for the year to between 4.5% and 5.3%, from 4.7% to 5.5%.

Internationally, China is coming under growing pressure over human rights in its far western region of Xinjiang, which means China’s textile sector could be hit and the possibility of increasing the export opportunities for Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam. United States customs is preparing to enforce a ban on imports traced to Xinjiang, including cotton. In a report on allegations of forced labor and other abuses of Modest Uyghur and other minorities. However, China denies the claims.

Famous modest clothing brands and designers

The most famous modest clothing brands may be found in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Where the clothing industry is deliberated as one of the most important industries in Indonesia. The talented fashion designers and their exceptional creative work make the Modest fashion industry popular all over the world. Here is a brief introduction to famous brands and designers of Indonesia:

1.Windri Widiesta Dhari:

Windery Widesta Dare, is the famous brand company of Nourazhara. This brand provides inofficial Islamic clothing which is cozy to wear as it is loose and modern design. And as the Nourazhara brand narrated that it is invigorated d by veiled clothes from the Middle East, especially from the countries of Egypt and Turkey.

2.Ria Miranda:

Ria Miranda, is a veiled clothes designer, whose brand has become one of the most renowned clothing brands in Indonesia. The veil is based on clothes being calm and modest; she is striving to achieve in her designs.

3.Anniesa Hasibuan:

An Indonesian Modest fashion designer who is famous for her distinctive style embraces the principles of the Islamic religion in the veil with some touches of modernity with amenity. She is deliberated one of the first designers to offer veiled clothes from Indonesia at New York Fashion Week, which gave her designs fame and made them a global designer par excellence. Anisa opened her first store in the Kemang district of Jakarta, Indonesia. After successful business then she opens more stores in Malaysia, Istanbul, and New York also.

The skilled workforce of Indonesia

Indonesia ranks 6th  in the world’s clothing suppliers. In the present situation boycott of China cotton over human rights issues opens new raw material export opportunities for Asian countries. Indonesia has a huge opportunity to grab the market. It occupies almost 2.5% of the global market share. The industry has around 1.6 million direct employees who work in apparel manufacturing factories. This sector relies heavily on its female workers like Bangladesh. Female workers rule the workforce and contribute to the total economical state of the country.

The organization of  BWI (Better Work Indonesia) which has a partnership with the ILO(International Labor Organization) and the IFC (International Finance Corporation) has been promoting gender equality through an alternation of training programs. Training programs, facilities, and indiscrimination can create a greater chance for women workers to grow and exhibit.


Indonesia’s regional modest fashion products are of high quality, which has a lot potential and can compete with other countries’ modest fashion and decent clothing. The fashion awareness of ordinary Indonesian people is gradually growing day by day and now it is visible to the world. This was witnessed during the Sitium Fashion week held in Jakarta’s Dukuhu Atashe.

Modest Dress Week is expected to help strengthen Indonesia’s modest fashion industry. The Indonesian government plans to encourage their 46 trade representative offices abroad to promote the popularity of Indonesian modest clothing and organize an annual fashion show for promoting their products.

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