While France battles the burkini on its beaches, the halal fashion industry benefits from an unexpected boost. The Australia-based company that helped to pioneer the swimsuit style claims that sales are skyrocketing. It seems that French authorities have unwittingly created widespread awareness of the burkini among consumers at a time of peak seasonal demand in the global swimwear industry. Discussion of the ban itself should probably be left on the Cote d’Azur, but the regulation directs attention to spending patterns across the Muslim world. Individuals are expressing solidarity with their religious beliefs, just as they might with food selection. Income levels support those choices. One sideline: The burkini has relevance beyond the Islamic world. An example is the lifestyle benefit to those battling skin cancer. ■
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