Potential of Islamic Clothing Market

The Islamic clothes, fashion and design market is an emerging industry with huge potential. There are 1.6 billion Muslims around the world represent about 23% of the world’s total population. The lack of a global Islamic clothing brand presents a unique opportunity for fashion designers and companies. Currently, no single Muslim brand dominates the market.

Muslim Spending on Clothing

According to a the finding of a report by the Dubai Chamber and Commerce, the global Muslim population spent $224 billion on clothes in 2012, accounting for about 10.6% of the global spending in the garments sector. Spending by the Muslim population is expected to grow to $322 billion by 2018, comprising about 11.2% of the global spending.

Globally, spending on clothing and footwear reached about $2.1 trillion in 2012 and this figure is expected to reach $2.9 trillion by 2018.

Further, the report pointed out that the global Islamic clothes, fashion and design market is larger than most top global clothing markets such as China, with customer spending worth $221 billion, Japan with $111 billion, Russia with $106 billion and Germany with $101 billion in 2012. The only exception is the US, which is the biggest market in terms of expenditure on clothing and footwear recording $494 billion in spending in 2012.

Highest Clothing Expenditure Muslim Countries

Among the Muslim majority countries, Turkey recorded the highest spending on clothing in 2012 worth about $24.9 billion, followed by Iran with $20.5 billion. Other prominent nations in this group are Indonesia with $ 16.8 billion, Egypt $16.2 billion, Saudi Arabia $15.3 billion, Pakistan $14.4 billion and the UAE with $10.2 billion.

Western Muslim Clothing Market

Interestingly, there is a significant Muslim clothing market within Europe, the US and Canada. Collectively, Muslims within these countries spent about $21 billion on clothing and footwear in 2012, making the western Muslim clothing market the second biggest after Turkey.

OIC Countries

The 57 countries that form the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), recorded a trade surplus in clothing products of about $ 35 billion in 2012 with $59 billion of clothes exports and $24 billion in clothes imports.

Within the OIC, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries were the top importing countries with cloth imports worth about $11.4 billion in 2012 led by the UAE with estimated cloth imports of about $7.2 billion in 2012, followed by Saudi Arabia with $3 billion.

The top clothes exporter within the OIC group is the group of South Asian countries with total clothes exports valued at $25.9 billion in 2012, led by Bangladesh which exported clothes worth $ 22 billion during the year.

Turkey is the second major clothes exporting country within the OIC group with $14 billion followed by Indonesia with $7.2 billion.

Potential of Islamic Clothing Industry

Asia Pacific has the highest number of Muslims with about 985.5 million people accounting for about 24% of the region’s population. The Middle East and North Africa has the highest concentration of Muslims where about 93% of its approximately 341 million inhabitants are Muslims.

The emerging Islamic clothing needs therefore, present ample potential business opportunities for clothing manufacturers, specifically manufacturers of women’s wear, distribution channels or retailers, including those online, and designers.  


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