Jakarta (ANTARA) - With the largest Muslim population with moderate views in the world, Indonesia has a growing ambition to emerge as a global Muslim fashion capital.

At least 85 percent of the over 260 million Indonesians are Muslims and a majority of them wear dresses in line with moderate Islamic teachings. Moreover, an increasing number of Indonesian Muslim women, including young girls, are opting to wear Islamic clothing as it is fashionable, decent, practical, comfortable, and alluring. Besides, Indonesia's hijabs are unique, colorful, and varied, compared with those of other countries.

With the support of the Industry Ministry, the Fourth Muslim Fashion Festival (Muffest) was organized at the Assembly Hall of the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) from May 1 to 4, 2019.

Organized annually by the Indonesian Fashion Chamber (IFC), the 2018 Muffest recorded transactions worth Rp38.9 billion, and saw 51,389 visitors, an increase from Rp28.3 billion in business transactions and 47,100 visitors in 2017, Ali Charisma, the National Chairman of the Indonesian Fashion Chamber, said in his opening report of the 2019 Muffest.

The fourth Muffest, which hopes to achieve total business transactions worth Rp45 billion and record over 55 thousand visitors, was enlivened with fashion shows, fashion presentations, retail exhibitions, business-to-business meetings, talk shows, seminars and fashion design competitions, including the Modest Young Designer Competition, which is a talent search event for young designers in Indonesia.

The Muslim fashion industry and markets are growing domestically and globally, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said, while officially opening the Muffest.

"Indonesia is one of the countries with the best growth in Muslim fashion in the world, after the United Arab Emirates," said Hartarto.

The minister hoped the annual Muslim Fashion Festival would help promote Indonesian Muslim fashion internationally.

In 2018, the global Muslim population reached 24 percent of the world's total population. The largest Muslim fashion markets are member states of the OIC, reaching 191 billion US dollars. Indonesia still has the potential to increase its exports to the OIC member countries.

According to the State Global Islamic Economy, the global fashion consumption among Muslims was recorded at US$270 billion, and its growth rate is projected at five percent. Hence, it would increase to US$361 billion in 2023.

The Muslim fashion industry, which is part of Indonesia's textile and textile product (TPT) sector, has made a significant contribution to the national economy.

The national TPT product exports reached US$13.27 billion in 2018, up 5.4 percent from US$12.59 billion, while the performance of the TPT industry has grown significantly from 3.76 percent in 2017 to 8.73 percent in 2018.

Hence, the Industry Minister is optimistic that Indonesia would become a hub for the Muslim fashion industry in the world in 2020 and encouraged the Muslim fashion industry to become globally more competitive.

"The market for Muslim wear is big, both outside and inside the country, and needs to be dominated by our Muslim fashion industry," Hartarto said.

"One thing that makes us proud is that the Indonesian achievement in the international world has been very significant. According to data from the State of Global Islamic Economy Report of 2018/2019, Indonesia is the runner up among countries that produce the best Muslim fashion in the world after the United Arab Emirates," Hartarto noted.

Such an achievement proves that Indonesia can soon be in the first place and become one of the world's Muslim fashion centers.

"Looking forward to 2020, which is only a few months away, we must immediately declare that Indonesia is ready to become the world's Muslim fashion center in 2020," Hartarto concluded.

Indonesia has played an important role in the development of global Muslim fashion and the Muffest is a concrete step toward Indonesia’s ambition to become a hub for the world's Muslim fashion.

To support this, the Industry Ministry has involved 656 small and medium scale industries and 60 designers in developing the Muslim fashion industry during the 2018-2019 period, according to Gati Wibawaningsih, director general for small, medium and various scale industries of the ministry.

“Our programs are integrated from the upstream until the downstream,” she said. The programs involve textile industries, designers and Muslim garment producers. The programs cover certification and training, among other things.

The Muslim Fashion Project (MOFP), for instance, covers competitions and incubation for Muslim fashion star-up companies, a road map for Muslim Fashion Industry Development, and a link and match between Muslim fashion industries and designers.

“On December 1, 2018, we launched an International Muslim Fashion Festival in Paris,” she noted.

The ministry will encourage Muslim fashion industries to apply industry technology 4.0 by using digital manufacturing-based systems, in order to improve productivity, efficiency, and quality.


Reporter: Fardah Assegaf
Editor: Eliswan Azly
Copyright © ANTARA 2019