business continues to grow both in Turkey and the world, expected to reach $3.7 trillion-worth by 2019, according to the Thomson Reuters foundation.
The industry, which includes travel, food, finance and fashion, has a nearly-two-billion-strong consumer base among the world’s Muslims.
The term “halal” applies to companies actively seeking to reach a Muslim population with products that fall within the bounds of Islam’s lifestyle guidelines.
In Turkey, the sector has taken off in recent years, boosted by support from the government. Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci announced earlier this week the opening of Turkey’s first halal accreditation agency, to service the many industries seeking product approval.
Several of Turkey’s halal clothing companies have found worldwide success, with entrepreneur Kerem Türe’s online company Modanisa one such example.
Türe started his company in 2011, with the aim of providing Muslim women a wider range of clothing options in line with the Islamic dress code.
“Just because they [Muslim women] wanted to cover a little more, the world ignored them and they had to suffer with the same old boring clothes. We thought it was unfair,” explained Türe, during a TEDx talk in Bulgaria.
The company’s first clothing manufacturer was skeptical about the market interest for modest garments and demanded upfront payment for orders. However, the long-sleeved tunics found a ready market, and Türe’s company was soon back for more orders.
Today, Modanisa sells to customers in 120 countries, with 100 million shoppers visiting the company website each year.
“Modanisa now has 300 suppliers and 30 designers, it’s become a platform for hundreds of suppliers from all over the world who want to sell products on our site,” a Modanisa representative told Al Jazeera.
The interest in halal industry has now expanded to western countries, even those with relatively small Muslim populations.
The U.K in 2013 became the first non-Muslim country to issue an Islamic law-compliant government bond, with former Prime Minister David Cameron stating London would become “one of the great capitals of Islamic finance.”
Brazil, a country with a very small Muslim population, has become the world’s largest halal beef exporter, earning nearly $6 million in 2015.
Major brands have also picked up the trend, as companies from Subway to H&M cater toward Muslim communities at their stores around the world.
Turkey serves to benefit from the expansion in multiple regards: halal business markets grow, consumers enjoy an increasing range of products, and Turkey itself welcomes growing numbers of Muslim tourists from around the world.