Life in Modesty: A Talk with Qonitah Al Jundiah
Qonitah Al Jundiah talks about her multidisciplinary influence; style, sustainability, financial literacy.
Qonitah Al Jundiah is one of a kind. She is not your average favorite, verified Instagram influencers. She influences people with her conscious modesty narrative. By conscious modesty, I meant the holistic approach of it; fashion, style, finance, even to the way we treat mother earth.
I met her back in sophomore days in UIN Jakarta. Our campus buildings were next to each other. When she initiated UIN Fashion Fair 2012, I contributed to walking on her runway. Thata, the way people call her, was a fellow blogger as I was and am today. Fashion seemed to be her forever love, you can tell since the very first time you met her.
Pursuing her Master’s degree in University of Leeds in the UK brought many positive impacts towards her life in general, which she delivers to her followers up to this day. It is no longer merely about fashion that she promotes, but also the ecosystem.
The name of Qonitah Al-Jundiah, or popularly known as @thataljundiah on Instagram, skyrocketed after Islamic fashion boom in early 2009. A consistent style recommendation came from Thata that made her name acknowledged by Islamic fashion enthusiasts, both domestic and International.
As a fashion influencer, Thata becomes one of the catalysts of Indonesian muslim fashion industry, which is forecasted to grow 5% annually to $361 billion by 2023 from $270 billion in 2017.
Thata said that fashion relaxed her while pursuing her self-identity, which led her to vintage territory as her style DNA. It is concluded after a long journey of experiment, as she rocked some playful, full of colors once in her lifetime. Back in her colorful style, she loved Diana Rikasari, Mischa Barton, and Elle Mayleckenby.
On Sustainable Fashion Business
I noticed that Thata is currently promoting her own brand, PARTÉ. The brand’s highlight is in its consciousness brand DNA. PARTÉ brings a fresh perspective on Muslimwear that goes into fast-produced direction. From the website it claims that PARTÉ pays attention to every single step of the production journey to make sure all the items produced comply to sustainable fashion guidelines.
We can see too many real impacts from fast fashion. Harper’s Bazaar US once reported about this. The report described several impacts we can clearly see from the fast fashion industry, which is currently negated by the sustainable fashion business model. The impacts are rather multidisciplinary instead of one; toxic production excess, child labor, gender paygap, to the climate change effect from carbon emission it produces.
…and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.” (Surah al-Ar’āf 7:31)
To explain the impact simply, look at the stack of jeans inside your wardrobe. To make one pair of denim pants, approximately 10,000 of water is required to grow the 1 kilo of cotton needed for that. In comparison, one person would take 10 years to drink 10,000 liters of water. Cumulatively, the fashion industry produces about 20% of global wastewater. The facts got me thinking, are we too generous in giving fast fashion a chance to keep doing this to the earth?
On Financial Literacy
A balance is needed for fashion people, for nobody wants to wake up in the morning having a forever-in-debt status on their forehead. The reason is valid, as a survey stated that only 5% of millennials in Jakarta, the capital city with the highest UMR, will be able to buy a house. Imagine those who live with lower UMR. Safe to say that investment hasn’t been a culture in Indonesia.
Looking at the low financial literacy of Indonesian young people, she wants to take part in financial literacy education. Starting for herself, she contributed to a campaign of investment for youth. She often recommended her followers to invest in the stock market. Considering her Islamic concern about riba (excess compensation over and above the principal which is without due consideration), she opts for Sharia stock in the market.
Sources and reads:
 Erwida Maulia, Indonesia seeks lead in global modest-fashion industry, Nikkei Asian Review. (https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cover-Story/Indonesia-seeks-lead-in-global-modest-fashion-industry)
 Maxine Bedat, How to Decipher “Sustainable Fashion” in 2020, Harper’s Bazaar.
 Sustainable Modest Fashion and Muslim Consumers.
 Survey finds only 5% of millennials in Jakarta will be able to afford a house by 2020 as property prices continue to soar, Coconut Jakarta.