A snapshot of Indonesia's modest wear e-commerce trends

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According to DinarStandard’s State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022, global spending on modest wear and the Muslim fashion industry is expected to reach US$375 billion in 2025 with a four-year CAGR of 6.1%. The same report reaffirms Indonesia’s notable and growing presence within this global trend, having achieved double-digit growth in its modest fashion e-commerce market even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from Statistics Indonesia also showed Indonesian exports of Muslim fashion reached US$2.85 billion in the first half of 2022, making the country the 13th largest Muslim and modest wear exporter globally and the largest consumer of Muslim fashion in Southeast Asia.

As the country with the largest population of Muslims in the world, there’s no doubt that Indonesia offers endless possibilities for businesses that seek to meet and fulfil the needs of modern-day Muslims. With an estimated 231 million Muslims living in the country, capturing even a small fraction of the domestic market could mean big success for a modest wear company. Indonesia’s proximity to countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and India with significant Muslim populations also suggests brands could obtain even greater success if they manage to expand overseas.

But who is driving the e-commerce modest wear market in Indonesia, and how can modest wear businesses stay on top of the latest emerging trends? Keep reading for a valuable snapshot of Indonesia’s modest wear e-commerce market in 2023 and how your business can take advantage of the latest e-commerce platform developments to grow.

What does modest mean in clothing and fashion?

Those who are unfamiliar with the concept of modest fashion might be wondering: how do you dress for modesty, and how does it differ from usual dressing?

The label ‘modest fashion’ is an umbrella term and varies depending on the individual. However, the term generally refers to wearing clothing that shows little to no skin, whether for religious or personal reasons. Some wearers may also seek to conceal the silhouette of their body, opting for looser-fitting skirts or abayas (a long-sleeved robe-like dress popular in the Middle East and amongst Muslims worldwide) over jeans or tight-fitting dresses. Hair coverings are common in modern dressing, although standards on what is considered ‘fully’ modest vary according to different religious schools of thought; for example, Muslim women may fully cover their hair and neck with a headscarf or hijab, whereas orthodox Jewish women may wear a wig or tichel head scarf.

With the sector going from being a niche trend to entering the mainstream market, many heritage brands are now also reimagining what it means to dress modestly, with the hopes of capturing the purchasing power of the modern Muslim consumer. Luxury fashion houses, including Oscar De La Renta, Valentino, and Prada, have all incorporated modest wear into their runway shows, and renowned Japanese retailer Uniqlo has released modest wear collaborations with British-Japanese Muslim designer Hana Tajima ever since 2015.

While modest dressing is most commonly associated with Abrahamic faiths such as Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, non-religious individuals may also opt to wear modest apparel simply because they prefer it as a style of dressing. Some of the biggest Muslim-founded online modest wear stores, such as Modanisa and FashionValet, have even managed to capture worldwide success precisely because their shopping catalogue appeals to modest dressers around the world regardless of their personal faith or beliefs.

Who are the consumers driving the e-commerce modest wear market in Indonesia?

Similar to overall e-commerce market demographics, the primary consumers of e-commerce modest wear in Indonesia are young women between the ages of 18 to 35. This group is overwhelmingly Muslim, with their faith natively interwoven into their online shopping decisions. They seek to balance modesty with being a modern woman, leading them to seek out fashion-forward modest wear clothing and outfit designs from local and international brands.

What e-commerce platforms are Indonesians buying modest wear on?

There are several e-commerce platforms in Indonesia that offer modest clothing and outfit selections. Some of the popular platforms include Zalora, Tokopedia, Shopee, and Lazada. These e-commerce marketplaces offer a wide range of modesty-friendly fashion options from abaya stores to conservative dresses, Islamic swimwear to modest workout clothes, specialised gym hijabs, and even modest formal dresses. 

Another new emerging e-commerce marketplace for modest apparel is TikTok. According to Al Jazeera, TikTok’s explosion into the Indonesian e-commerce scene happened in 2021 when the platform launched a live streaming function during Ramadan. TikTok e-commerce sellers who offered Ramadan sales were able to capture the attention of Muslim consumers awake at the early hours of the day to eat their pre-dawn meal, and thus take advantage of one of the country’s peak selling seasons. Exponential increases in livestream viewership led to a corresponding rise in lead generation and ultimately successful customer purchases, suggesting live streaming could be a promising new avenue for modest wear e-commerce businesses to explore.

How modest wear companies can tackle the e-commerce landscape

Capturing the e-commerce market doesn’t just stop at offering your products on an online marketplace or social media platform. Modest fashion brands who want to go a step further and stand out from the competition need to support their e-commerce efforts with reliable and trustworthy logistics and last-mile delivery to truly capture a customer’s brand loyalty.

DHL Express Indonesia offers a variety of features to enhance the online shopping experience for sellers and buyers alike, such as customs clearance facilitation, end-to-end tracking visibility, and options for time-sensitive delivery. Businesses looking to stay competitive can also opt for add-ons such as dedicated and Saturday delivery, shipment value protection for high-value orders, and shipment preparation to better manage order volume during peak selling times.

Open a DHL Express business account today to find out how we can help your modest wear business grow even in a competitive market landscape, or explore more e-commerce advice, such as how you can succeed at omnichannel retail.