Sustainability is the latest Eid fashion trend
This week, Muslims around the world will finally be able to debut their finest abayas, salwar kameezes, kaftans and thobes that they have kept in the back of their closets for three pandemic Eids. For a growing number who have been rethinking their fashion choices during that time, those glitzy, intricately woven pieces will be more durable.
Eid al-Adha, the Islamic holiday that marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage, begins on July 20. And Muslim designers, noting a demand for sustainable Eid clothing, have launched eco-friendly pieces in the lead up to the holiday. Muslim fashion icons, such as Halima Aden and Mariah Idrissi, have also recently promoted sustainable fashion practices.
“The importance of sustainability and ethical practices… we believe it will be very important now and especially during Eid,” said hijab designer Lena Aljahim.
Every year, Muslims spend $2.2 trillion on "faith-inspired ethical consumption needs."
“Apparel sustainability is increasingly popular with consumers and has also been the theme of many modest fashion events,” according to the 2020/2021 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report. Modest fashion is a term used to describe the conservative style of clothing that Muslims adopt. The last Modest Fashion Week - days of Muslim-oriented fashion shows - in 2019, for example, had sustainability as one of its main themes, with a slew of Muslim designers releasing pieces made from eco-friendly raw materials or technology.
The modest fashion market will be valued at $402 billion by 2024, the report estimates. Millennial Muslims, one of the largest consumer groups of modest fashion, are leading the demand for sustainability.
It ties in with Islamic values
British fashion designer Ainara Medina launched her sustainable modest clothing company Nea Wear halfway through the pandemic, after noticing a growing movement of forward-thinking Muslims becoming aware of where their clothes come from. To make it sustainable, Medina told NPR it upcycles fabrics and uses an eco-friendly supply chain, from manufacturers to shipping companies.
"Now that we're cooped up and spending more time at home, having more time to think about things, I believe it's impacted the choices we make and the way we consume," Medina said. "There are many Muslim consumers who have started the research and understand the importance of sustainable fashion and slow fashion."
Conscious consumption aligns with the Islamic values that Muslims cherish, she added.
“From an Islamic perspective, we have been entrusted to care for and take care of the earth, and that clearly means being environmentally conscious and not harming the environment and then any creatures that live on it,” said Medina.
Medina has released a special Eid collection of silky dresses, where durability and glamour.
Fayena, a new sustainable hijab company, makes its hijabs from environmentally friendly natural fibres.
Malaika L Hilson/Fayena
Like Medina, Fakhrya Alshubi and Lena Aljahim of Dearborn, Michigan, released their sustainable modest clothing line Fayena during the pandemic, in November 2020. They wanted to offer Muslim consumers an alternative to unsustainable and unethical fashion, which they said was often the most accessible. . choice.
And sales of their eco-friendly fiber hijabs have skyrocketed as Eid approaches.
“Especially during Eid, girls are looking for better quality and more value hijabs,” Aljahim told NPR.
Sustainability is now more accessible
Older Muslim-owned companies are setting up initiatives to innovate sustainable lines.
“Due to the fact that things are more available on a sustainable level, I think if given the chance, people will be attracted,” says fashion influencer Melanie Elturk.
Haute Hijabs CEO Elturk told NPR that sustainability has been a hallmark of her New York-based company since its founding in 2010, when she transformed vintage scarves into hijabs.
Realizing that Muslim consumers are becoming 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 released recycled chiffon hijabs made from 7 to 8 recycled plastic bottles to reduce its carbon footprint. Last year, Haute Hijab released woven hijabs made from renewable bamboo.
The trend is only getting bigger
There will be an even bigger shift towards sustainability for Muslim consumers in the next three to five years, Alshubi predicts.
With this Eid, the fashion designers want to avoid overconsumption.
Medina buys her outfit from designers who buy their ready-made fabrics in small quantities. Already