Photo courtesy MUFFEST

Islamic Lifestyle

Indonesia to explore ‘slow fashion’ at next year’s Muslim festival

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s Muslim Fashion Festival (MUFFEST) 2021 will explore the theme of economic recovery based on slow fashion as sustainability once again takes centre stage.

Ali Charisma, chairperson of the Indonesia Fashion Chamber, told Salaam Gateway sustainability has become more important in the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also the focus of this year’s festival in February, before the COVID-19 outbreak gripped Indonesia and hit the retail sector, modest fashion included. 

“We hope MUFFEST 2021 will facilitate not only the momentum for recovery for modest fashion but also a tipping point. Every designer should open their eyes from now on: sustainability is inevitable in business. All industry stakeholders, from manufacturers, designers and investors should promote a sustainable lifestyle,” said Ali.  

This also extends to production timelines and delivery. Clients and consumers used to fast fashion are demanding quicker deliveries of their orders from fashion shows, which Ali cautions the industry to rethink. “But of course, faster without compensating the quality. Quality is a standard now, not a plus point,” he added.

The new normal will also feature fewer seasonal (winter or summer) thematic collections during fashion weeks. Designers should be able to produce clothes that can be used by customers both during summer and winter, according to Ali.

He also expects a lot more business in upcycling and repairs, which will benefit consumers who will be able to buy quality products at lower prices. 

Ali expects sales transactions for next year’s festival to reach 46 billion rupiah ($3.15 million) from 43.7 billion rupiah this year, and has programmed more extensive online segments to reach a bigger market.

The lead up to the festival in February 2021 will start in October this year with online exhibitions that will help designers sell their products via digital channels prepared by the organisers.

Next year’s festival itself will be an offline-online hybrid that will include a four-day fashion show at the Jakarta Convention Centre from February 18 to 21, and a live streaming component that will hopefully attract a more global participation.

COVID-19 has increased collaboration between local and foreign designers online especially, and MUFFEST 2021 will also feature designers such as Emel’s Dirk Luebbert and Melinda Loi from Malaysia, and Yod Yoko, a designer from Thailand that makes modest fashion with hand-painted silk.

“Collaboration is the key for success going forward,” said Ali.

He also plans to invite foreign designers he met at Indonesia Fashion Chamber’s show La Mode Sur La Seine à Paris, that was hosted by the Indonesian Embassy in the French capital in September last year. “It has promoted Indonesia’s modest wear brands to the world through Europe and we will invite them to our event, in return,” he said.

Indonesia Fashion Chamber also aims to launch a fashion cooperative consisting of local designers, in collaboration with the Ministry of SMEs and Cooperatives. Members will be able to access the online market as well as cheap financing up to 100 billion rupiah, with interest of less than 3% per year.

MUFFEST 2020 featured 400 exhibitors and fashion shows from 117 designers. It attracted 54,671 visitors. Indonesia Fashion Chamber has been hosting MUFFEST since 2016 with events organizer Dyandra Promosindo.

(Reporting by Yosi Winosa; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim [email protected])

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