Jakarta. Viscose rayon's potential to boost Indonesia's modest fashion industry and to revitalize the textile sector was highlighted last week at the Muslim Fashion Festival, or Muffest, in Jakarta.
Indonesian designers have been relatively slow in taking advantage of the modest fashion industry, as the local textile sector is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and domestic producers still struggle with high production costs and low capacity utilization.
But the increasing availability of viscose rayon as a domestically produced raw material and as a fabric that can be used by local fashion designers to cater to eco-conscious fashionistas could be a significant driver for the modest fashion industry.
With the world's largest Muslim population, Indonesia has been named the world's third-largest consumer of Muslim fashion with a total consumption of $21 billion, according to the State Islamic Economy Report 2019.
At Muffest last week, Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) collaborated with the Indonesian Fashion Chamber (IFC) to hold a Muslim fashion show called "Everything Indonesia: From Plantation to Fashion."
The event showcased 72 collections of modest sustainable fashion, including the earth-tone dominant "Luru" collection by designer Rosie Rahmadi.
"Our contribution to Muffest aligns with APR's mission, which is to revitalize the national textile industry and increase awareness of sustainable fashion. We're also increasing exports and helping Indonesia become the world's center for modest fashion," Asia Pacific Rayon director Basrie Kamba said.
APR's biodegradable viscose rayon was selected as the primary clothing material for the designers at Muffest.
Made from wood cellulose, viscose rayon possesses desirable qualities in modest clothing by being lightweight, with radiant and rich colors.
APR recently launched the "Everything Indonesia" campaign to promote sustainable sourcing and production of fashion in Indonesia.
The aim is to support Indonesia's resurgence as a global center for textile manufacturing and catalyze home-grown fashion design and creativity.
"As designers, APR gives us options, in terms of using sustainable raw materials. We hope that APR rayon products can be a solution for the future of fashion and help the industry become more environmentally friendly," IFC national chairman Ali Charisma said.
With an annual production of 240,000 tons of rayon fiber, APR is capable of meeting both domestic demand and exports to 15 key markets, including Turkey and Vietnam.
The company's new production facility in Pelalawan, Riau, is the largest in the country and was inaugurated last week by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.