Preserving Culture and Environment in the Largest Muslim Country

by Fajry Ananda | 2 Agustus 2023


As the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia celebrates the festive occasion of Eid al-Fitr with great enthusiasm and a vibrant shopping culture. However, with a population of over 272 million people, the environmental impact of consumerism during this period can be substantial.

In this article, we will explore the importance of sustainable fashion in Indonesia, considering the cultural significance of Eid shopping and the country’s vast population. By embracing sustainable practices, we can preserve our traditions while ensuring a more eco-friendly and socially responsible future.

Once-a-year celebration

More than a mere festive


Eid al-Fitr holds immense cultural significance in Indonesia as it marks the end of Ramadan and serves as a time for celebration and strengthening the bonds of kinship with relatives and the surrounding community, reflecting the essence of habluminnanas.

The tradition of shopping for new clothes during this period has become deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of the country, serving as a means to express joy, gratitude for our blessings, and a sense of renewal.

According to data from the Indonesian Retailers Association (APRINDO), during the month leading up to Eid, retail sales in Indonesia experience a significant surge with clothing and fashion-related items being the most sought-after products.

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Expected increase in volume

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Average money spend on clothes

The increase in retail sales is thought to be driven by several factors, notably for this particular year the convenience and interactive nature of live shopping on TikTok have attracted consumers seeking to explore and purchase fashionable attire.

The platform provides a unique and engaging shopping experience, allowing users to discover new trends, interact with sellers, and make purchases effortlessly using their mobile devices


It is worth noting that the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of TikTok in Indonesia reached USD 2.5 billion (IDR 36,6 trilion) in the first quarter of 2023 and is predicted to continue rising throughout the year. 

This trend has emerged as a new and influential way of retail purchasing, contributing to the overall growth of the fashion industry in Indonesia. 

However, the fast-paced and disposable nature of the fashion industry has led to environmental concerns associated with the production, consumption, and disposal of clothing items.

Footprint of consumerism

The Environmental Impact

The high population and consumer-driven culture during Eid shopping contribute to a significant environmental footprint. From excessive waste and resource consumption to the carbon emissions associated with production and transportation, the negative impacts are evident. Here are some data points to highlight the environmental challenges.

Worst Waste Generator

According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, the country generates approximately 18,30 million tons of waste per year, and a significant portion of this waste is attributed to discarded clothing and textiles.

Redundant Waste

Unlike paper waste, which can be recycled into different forms or even upgraded through paper upcycling, A study conducted by the Indonesian Textile Association (API) estimated that each year around the globe, out of 200 billion pieces of clothing 85% of them end up in the waste bin.

Water-Intensive Industry

The fashion industry is known to be a water-intensive sector. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that producing one kilogram of fabric can require up to 20,000 liters of water. With the large-scale production of clothing during Eid, water consumption becomes a significant concern.

Massive Carbon Emitter

The carbon emissions associated with fashion production, transportation, and disposal contribute to climate change. The World Bank estimates that the fashion industry’s carbon emissions are equivalent to that of international flights and shipping combined.

Let's Embrace

Sustainable Fashion

To address the environmental challenges associated with consumerism during Eid shopping, embracing sustainable fashion practices becomes crucial. Therefore, here are some key aspects that need to be further understood to support sustainable fashion in Indonesia

Rising Consumer Awareness

you can't love what you don't know

According to a survey conducted by Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living Asean, 74% of Indonesian consumers are willing to pay more for products that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible. 

Some reasons underlying these choices are beliefs in Islamic conservation and health factors, which are often better addressed by the use of environmentally friendly products rather than conventional ones.

The growing consumer awareness indicates a demand for sustainable fashion options in the country, which is still relatively unknown and has not yet been fully met in terms of its demand.

To support this cause, Asia Pasific Rayon (APR), part of the RGE group, put an excellent example by providing sustainable viscose and partnered with five local brands to promote sustainable fashion during Jakarta Muslim Fashion Week 2023.

The collaboration being held few months before Eid aims to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable practices in the fashion industry and showcase innovative solutions that prioritize environmental and social responsibility

By featuring these brands, APR are taking proactive steps towards a more sustainable future in the fashion industry, encouraging consumers to make conscious choices and supporting the growth of the local sustainable fashion ecosystem in Indonesia.

How Sustainable Material Different?

Let's hear Sateri explaination


Viscose, also known as rayon, is the third most commonly used fabric after cotton and polyester. Certainly, the availability of environmentally friendly textile materials is of utmost importance in the textile industry. 

In this regard, the presence of companies like Sateri, the world’s largest producer of Viscose and Lyocell, which emphasizes a biodegradable production process as part of the RGE group’s ideology of sustainable living, plays a crucial role.

Sateri is a role model for sustainable textile manufacturers, being the only company in the world to hold the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® product label certification. Here are some reasons why Viscose and Lyocell made by Sateri are excellent fabrics for modest wear in Muslim fashion.

99.7% Solvent recovered in Lyocell production
100% Biodegradable material

With all the advantages mentioned above, we can learn that the availability of environmentally friendly materials and support from companies like Sateri is right in front of us. Therefore, how do the government perceive and support this transition?

Government Perspective

Spoiler: they love it


During the G20 summit in Bali, leaders from countries around the world discussed the importance of energy transition, sustainable finance, and the need to accelerate the net-zero emission target before 2030.

Sustainable fashion on other hand is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 12, which centers on promoting Responsible Consumption and Production.

As part of their dedication to promoting sustainable finance, Bank Indonesia has implemented important measures to facilitate green MSMEs’ access to credit. They achieved this by easing the mandatory reserve requirement for banks engaged in green financing.

As one of the state-owned banks in Indonesia, Bank Negara Indonesia demonstrated its commitment to green financing last year by allocating a significant portion of its investment portfolio to support MSMEs’ that are engaged in environmental conservation or produce eco-friendly products.

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Loan to green financing

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In value

This initiative is expected to facilitate and encourage fashion SMEs in Indonesia to adopt more sustainable practices and enhance the availability of environmentally friendly textile materials in the market.

Additionally, taking into account the conservative environmental teachings of Islam, promoting a clear brand identity that explicitly aligns with sustainable materials can not only enhance the popularity and value of products in the long run but also resonate with the values and beliefs of Muslims in Indonesia.


In conclusion the culture of shopping leading up to Eid can be both seen as a challenge and opportunity for sustainable fashion to thrive in Indonesia. 

Efforts from various stakeholders, such as the RGE group, in providing eco-friendly textile materials and showcasing the importance of sustainable fashion through fashion events, are commendable. On the other hand, the appreciation for the banking sector’s provision of green financing is also noteworthy in steering towards a more responsible future.

In the same vein, increasing awareness and knowledge of green financing among MSME owners requires a collaborative effort between the government and society. At the end of the day, it is our collective responsibility to nurture the balance between festive celebrations and environmental preservation

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