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Fashion leads consumers’ spending in Islamic countries

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez

Oct 29, 2018


New York - Muslims spent fashion at 270 billion dollars in 2017, according to the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19 estimates. Muslim spend on clothing is forecast to reach 361 billion dollars by 2023.

The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) has just published the results of the report titled ‘An Inclusive Ethical Economy’. This is the sixth edition in the series and has been commissioned by DIEDC and produced by Thomson Reuters in collaboration with DinarStandard and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The report reveals that, by category, food and beverage leads Muslim spend at 1.3 trillion dollars, followed by fashion at 270 billion dollars, media and recreation at 209 billion dollars, travel at 177 billion dollars, pharmaceuticals at 87 billion dollars and cosmetics at 61 billion dollars.

Report highlights modest fashion has gone mainstream worldwide

Report’s authors highlighted how modest fashion has firmly moved into the mainstream, from models in hijabs walking down the catwalks for luxury brands to European fashion magazines sporting Muslim models on their covers.

A notable shift has seen high street retailers launch their own modest fashion lines, from Macy’s in the USA to Marks & Spencer in the UK and H&M worldwide. Meanwhile, Malaysian actress Neelofa became the first hijab-wearing ambassador for French cosmetic brand Lancôme. Modest fashion brands continue to launch in OIC member countries, driven by Muslim millennials setting new trends in both Muslim- and non-Muslim-majority countries.

The Islamic economy has rapidly adapted new technologies such as blockchain for payments to ensure halal compliance, and track food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products from the manufacturing facility to the retailer. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and the internet of things (IoT) are today attracting more investments than ever before, according to the report.

Addressing the 2018/19 insights, he added: “This year, we have witnessed a surge in demand for products that not only conform to sharia-compliant financing and stringent environmental sustainability, health and safety standards but are also manufactured using halal-certified ingredients. The consistency that is integral to the supply chain explains the rising attractiveness and uptake of Islamic economy products among the global population.”

Image: Verona Collection hijabs, Macy’s official website