This week, Muslims around the world will finally be able to launch their most beautiful abayas, salwar kameezes, caftans and thobes that they have kept in the back of their closets for three pandemic Eids. For a growing number of people who have rethought their fashion choices during this time, these glitzy, intricately woven pieces will be more durable.
Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday marking the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage, begins on July 20. And Muslim designers, noticing a demand for sustainable clothing for Eid, threw eco-friendly pieces ahead of the holiday. Muslim fashion icons like Halima Aden and Mariah Idrissi have also recently promoted sustainable fashion practices.
âThe importance of sustainability and ethical practicesâ¦ we think this will be very important now and especially during Eid,â said hijab designer Lena Aljahim.
Each year, Muslims spend $ 2.2 trillion on “ethical consumerism inspired by faith”.
âClothing sustainability is gaining popularity with consumers and has also been the theme of many modest fashion events,â according to the 2020/2021 State of the World Islamic Economy Report. Modest fashion is a term used to describe the conservative style of dress adopted by Muslims. The last Modest Fashion Week – days of Muslim-oriented fashion shows – in 2019, for example, featured sustainability as one of its key themes, with a slew of Muslim designers releasing pieces made from it. raw materials or environmentally friendly technologies.
The modest value of the fashion market will be $ 402 billion by 2024, according to the report’s estimates. Millennial Muslims, one of the largest consumer groups of modest fashion, lead the demand for sustainability.
It aligns with Islamic values
British fashion designer Ainara Medina launched her sustainable modest clothing company Nea Wear amid the pandemic, after noticing a growing movement of forward-thinking Muslims concerned about where their clothes come from. To make it sustainable, Medina told NPR that it recycles fabrics and uses an eco-friendly supply chain, from manufacturers to shipping companies.
âWe are confined and spend more time at home, having more time to think about things, I think that has had an impact on the choices we make and the way we consume,â said Medina. “There are a lot of Muslim consumers who have started to research and understand the importance of sustainable fashion and slow fashion.”
Conscious consumption aligns with the Islamic values ââthat Muslims hold dear, she added.
“From the Islamic point of view, we are responsible for taking care of the earth and taking care of it, which means obviously being environmentally conscious and not harming the environment and therefore all beings there. live, âMedina said.
Medina has released a special Eid collection of silky dresses, combining durability and glamor.
Like Medina, Fakhrya Alshubi and Lena Aljahim from Dearborn, Michigan, launched their sustainable modest clothing line Fayena during the pandemic, in November 2020. They wanted to offer Muslim consumers an unsustainable and unethical fashion alternative, which, according to them, was often the most accessible. option.
And sales of their eco-friendly fiber hijabs have skyrocketed as Eid approaches.
âEspecially during Eid, girls are looking for better and more cost effective hijabs,â Aljahim told NPR.
Sustainable is now more accessible
Older Muslim-owned companies are setting up initiatives to innovate in sustainable lines.
âDue to the fact that things are more available on a sustainable level, I think people, if given the opportunity, will gravitate towards them,â said fashion influencer Melanie Elturk.
Elturk, CEO of Haute Hijabs, told NPR that sustainability has been a hallmark of his New York-based company since its inception in 2010, when it turned vintage scarves into hijabs.
Realizing that Muslim consumers were increasingly aware of the products they buy and the brands they are willing to invest in, Elturk further explored sustainable fashion. In April, the company launched recycled chiffon hijabs made from 7-8 recycled plastic bottles to help reduce its carbon footprint. Last year, Haute Hijab launched woven hijabs made from renewable bamboo.
The trend will only increase
There will be an even bigger shift towards sustainability for Muslim consumers over the next three to five years, Alshubi predicts.
This Eid, fashion designers want to avoid overconsumption.
Medina buys her outfit from designers who buy their prefabricated fabrics in small quantities. Alshubi and Aljahim shop secondhand for their Eid cups. Elturk said she would wear classic basics, having made an effort over the past three years to stop buying fast fashion.
The best way to dress sustainably for Eid? âBecoming a more conscious consumer is really about thinkingâ¦ about what you’re investing in and if it’s really worth it,â Alshubi said. “Trends will always come and go.”
Dalia Faheid is an intern at the NPR News Desk.