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Modest fashion prospect in Muslim-majority counties

In Muslim-majority counties, the use of modest fashion is increasingly growing and it has an enormous prospect to inhabit the Non-Muslim public also. The modest fashion industry is projected to be worth USD 2.3 trillion without a financial market with 20% annual growth.

Figure 1: In Muslim-majority counties, the use of modest fashion is increasingly growing. Courtesy: VEIL_cover with elegance

Also, the fashion or modest fashion industry is developing as a possible market segment for garment-producing nations.

With the second largest population in terms of size/number i.e. 1.8 billion Muslims – about 24% of the world’s total population (Source: Pew research center). In the opinion of this situation, the prospect of modest fashion industry is enormous.

Generally, modest fashion is practiced by the Muslim community. The religious Muslim Man and Woman have to comply with the instructions and guidelines prescribed in the Holy Book Quran. Islamic clothing differs from country to country and from person to person, the basic characteristics that need to be prevailing in Islamic clothing are below -knee length, long sleeves and necklines.

Modest fashion product

In the current modest clothing trend, the following products contain the most share of the market:


Muslim clothing also includes further clothing items that go with the Islamic dress code, such as long dresses, long sleeves, maxi skirts, wide-leg trousers, loose-fitting clothes and high necklines.

The modest fashion industry is an emerging potential market for the apparel producing enterprises of the world.  This industry is not only limited to the Muslim community but also able to attract non-Muslim fashion lovers.

Figure 2: The market size of this section is estimated to reach over USD 3.0 trillion by 2021. Courtesy: VEIL_cover with elegance

The market size of this section was projected at USD 252 billion in 2017 and likely to be enlarged by this time at USD more than 300 billion.  The consumer expenditure, among the Muslim people in the food and lifestyle sector, including modest clothing, is estimated to reach over USD 3.0 trillion by 2021 from USD 1.9 trillion in 2014, according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report.

Big brands catching up

Traditional wear like burkhas, thobes, hijab, Prayer outfits and abayas are foremost items in the modest fashion industry with over 70.9% market share. The demands for these goods are rising at a constant pace due to the increasing accessibility of products through various brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, and DKNY globally.

Figure 3: To grasp a huge market prospect in the modest fashion industry govt. and trade bodies need to come forward. Courtesy: Marniya’s Abaya

Prayer Cap, Panjabi and Pajama and other fashionable clothing concentrating religious flavor are also getting popularity among the Muslim and Non-Muslim community.

The world’s leading fashion brands are not confining themselves to attract the wealthy Muslim women of oil-rich nations during festivities like Ramadan but also other festivities of Muslims.

The modest market is moving towards mainstream fashion, from luxury brands to high-street stores. Models in hijabs are walking the clothes of Dolce & Gabbana on catwalks, clothing giant H&M recently released an entire modest fashion collection called LTD and Uniqlo also sells a modest fashion line.

Prospect of Bangladesh in producing this

As the second-largest apparel producing nation in the world, Bangladesh has immense opportunity to grab a good amount of market share of the modest fashion industry.

Figure 4: Traditional wear like burkhas, thobes, hijab, Prayer outfits and abayas are foremost items in the modest fashion industry with over 70.9% market share. Courtesy: VEIL_cover with elegance

Though Bangladesh’s export of Islamic ethnic wear to the Middle East is not significant. And some traditional local fashion brands) and women entrepreneurs belonging to Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industry Corporation (BSCIC), SME Foundation, Jatiyo Mohila Sangstha and National Association of Small Cottage Industries of Bangladesh (NASCIB) can be engaged also to avail the opportunities lying in the modest fashion industry.

To grasp a huge market prospect in the modest fashion industry, succeeding steps can be taken into contemplation:

  • Market Intelligence (MI) platform to be ensured to provide market analytic information regarding Halal Fashion/ Modest Fashion Industry / Islamic Clothing of the world so that the potential exporters can take initiative for exploring the market.
  • Market Development Initiatives like taking part in the International Trade fair, arranging Trade Conference and Single country Trade Fair focusing B2B meeting can be undertaken in Africa, Middle East and South America region to explore new market over there.
  • BGMEA and BKMEA can take special measures to disseminate the information as to the potentialities of the Modest Fashion Industry among their members.
  • Commercial Counsellors assigned in the Middle East and African region can be given special assignments to develop a market for Islamic Clothing.
  • ODM (Original Design Manufacturing) to be emphasized to offer a variety of designs to the potential buyers of Islamic Clothing.

The target group of the modest fashion industry is not only the Muslim community but also other religions’ fashion lovers. To reap the benefit of this industry, we have to enrich the Market Intelligence ability of the trade facilitators like EPB, BGMEA, BKMEA and other trade associate bodies.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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