Longer sleeves, higher necklines and looser fits are the clothing styles several women across cultural and religious backgrounds have opted to wear for years.But now, catering to those needs is a multi-billion dollar industry.According to one estimate, in 2016, the modest fashion industry raked in $250 billion. By 2022, according to The Washington Post, it’s slotted to make $373 billion.But what is it about modest fashion that makes it such a hit with consumers and creators alike?
Models walk the ramp at the 2019 IMFDF show in Toronto.Maham Abedi/Global News
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For Nateka Pitter, the Canadian co-founder of the International Modesty Fashion & Designs Festival, it’s a summation of many of her passions.Pitter told Global News that the clothing caters to her needs a Muslim woman who chooses to dress modesty. But more than that, it gives her a way to express her passion for fashion.READ MORE: ‘We must fight’: Muslim women protest burkini ban at French pool (June 26, 2019)“When I first became a Muslim, one of the things I could not find was just a long skirt and a cardigan,” she said.That’s what prompted Pitter to start her own fashion company, and then eventually, an international festival based in Toronto.“There’s a need here, there’s a niche market,” said, noting that even beyond the Muslim community, the events’ attendees have included Christian, Jewish and atheist women from around the world.WATCH: U.S. beauty pageant first as contestant wears hijab, burkini