The best way to stay connected to God in this era of climate change is to find ways to wear the right clothing to stay spiritually connected, a new survey suggests.
In a new poll, the Pew Research Center asked respondents to list the clothing that they use when traveling to faith.
Some were more than happy to list garments that are environmentally conscious, but most felt they should choose one that fits their personality, style and lifestyle.
Most religious groups are looking to create their own faith identity and their own clothing for that, said Matthew N. Schmitz, the director of the Pew Religion & Public Life Project and a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Politics.
Many of the brands, he said, are brands that are rooted in their religious traditions and cultures and not tied to any particular religious ideology.
Some brands are going beyond the traditional clothing categories to include the new faith connection apparel, he added.
These brands have found new ways to incorporate their own spiritual values into the garments.
For instance, the brands that use a traditional garment have taken the opportunity to incorporate a new spiritual message into the design, said N. Scott Campbell, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In this new era, brands are taking a cue from other cultures and making a new connection with their own people, he told The Washington Post.
Many faith-related brands have begun using the term faith connection to describe their brands’ approach to the clothing, he noted.
They are taking the opportunity, for example, to emphasize a connection between faith and sustainability and to help their brands connect to the global community.
This is a new kind of religious connection, said Michael R. Carrington, a senior vice president at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an author of the forthcoming book “Biblical Fashion.”
In this way, faith brands can be more accessible and accessible to people who don’t have the same connection to their faith, he explained.
Faith connection is one of the key tenets of Christianity, and there is a real need to build that connection, Carrington said.
Many faith-based organizations and individuals have been using faith-connected clothing for decades, but not everyone is comfortable with this practice.
Many religious groups have tried to build a connection to people outside their own religion, such as their children or grandparents.
That can be problematic, Campbell said.
It is also often difficult for people who have never experienced a faith-focused brand to find clothing that will be comfortable for them.
Faith brand leaders have tried their best to help people understand their faith.
For example, in a recent report, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a booklet that encourages faith-centered clothing.
In it, the bishops encouraged faith-branded retailers to use clothing that promotes faith in Christ and to focus on the positive aspects of the faith, such to promote personal integrity and to be respectful of people’s beliefs.
Faith brands also want to provide the same kind of clothing that has become part of the mainstream, Campbell noted.
That’s not always easy.
In many cases, faith-affiliated retailers have had to look outside of their own tradition to find the latest designs.
They also often have to design their own, as well.
“They have to find new, creative ways to be accessible and they have to figure out how to connect with people,” he said.