Anas Sillwood, Managing Partner of SHUKR Islamic Clothing discusses why Muslim fashion is on the rise and what it means for the industry worldwide.
Anas Sillwood didn’t plan on helping to create one of the first globally recognized contemporary Islamic clothing brands, but that’s exactly what he did in 2001 with the creation of SHUKR Clothing. Registered in the US and UK and with current headquarters in Jordan, the company sells modest clothing- including long dresses and skirts, hijabs, loose tops for men and women, and popular Islamic hats.
While Sillwood might not have realized the company’s potential over 14 years ago, things have changed. The global Muslim fashion market has enormous potential and according to the Global Islamic Economy Report, Muslims spent £182 billion in 2013 on clothing and footwear. That number is expected to reach at least £333 billion by 2019.
While competition is on the rise and new modest and Islamic clothing companies are popping up all over the UK and around the world, Sillwood thinks the industry still has great unearthed opportunities. “At the moment there is not one brand that dominates the global Muslim fashion market, but rather smaller local brands have sprung up in individual countries and regions.”
According to Sillwood, the main factors fueling this demand for Muslim fashion worldwide are two-fold. Not only is Islam the fastest growing religion in the world, but there has been a global rise of what Sillwood calls “Muslim consciousness.” “Muslims are not only holding on to their faith but are typically increasing in their religious commitment, despite the global forces of secularization,” he explains. The second factor is globalization, and what that means to Muslims all over the world.
Muslims recognizing and incorporating global fashion trends has led to mass communication and consumerism regarding clothing. While different cultures still hold on to traditional styles, contemporary adaptions of these looks are appearing in the industry. Over the years, SHUKR has noticed this trend and increase in global customers as it attracts a loyal customer base of people searching for clothing that meets Islamic standards of dress and Western sensibilities.
Says Sillwood, “It’s very important for Muslims in the West to feel comfortable in what they wear; it is our goal to help them to do so.” Launched in 2001, SHUKR was the first company to provide contemporary, modest clothing that meets the needs of Muslims and non-Muslims living in the West. SHUKR is proud to be able to serve people of all religions who find that their faith encourages them to dress modestly, without having to sacrifice style and beauty.