The number of Christian clothing retailers in California is rising, but they’re not growing fast enough to keep pace with a burgeoning Muslim population.
The numbers of Christian-owned stores in California jumped 40% from 2016 to 2019, according to a new report from the Christian Coalition, a nonprofit group dedicated to building a Christian America.
Christian clothing is the fastest-growing category of apparel in California.
In 2017, Christian clothing accounted for roughly 16% of total sales, according the report, but that figure has grown to 26% since then.
And sales of Christian apparel have grown by a whopping 86% in the past decade.
This trend has been driven by the influx of Muslims from Muslim countries, according Christian clothing executive director Jennifer D’Andrea.
She said Muslim immigrants, especially those from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have been a major factor in the growth of Christian fashion.
“We have been very successful at attracting Muslim immigrants in the United States,” she said.
“They are more open to our brand, we have an active community of Muslim Americans, and they have embraced Christian clothing.”
D’Plusrea also pointed to a recent study showing that over the past 10 years, more than two-thirds of the new Christian clothing stores opened in the U.S. were opened by Christian groups.
While the number of Muslim-owned businesses in the country is rising rapidly, the Christian-affiliated Christian clothing companies are still struggling to make a living.
Christian-run clothing companies in California, however, are thriving.
Christian Clothing, a Christian-led business with a large presence in Southern California, recently opened a store in Orange County.
Christian Streetwear, a New York-based company, recently closed its shop in Long Beach, California.
And Christian Clothing is planning a major expansion in the coming years.
“As the world becomes more diverse, we need to diversify our offerings to reflect that,” said D’andrea.
“Christian clothing has been the most successful Christian-driven business for many years, and now it is in a position to continue growing and expand.”
As part of its effort to reach more Muslims, Christian Clothing has partnered with the American Islamic Circle of North America (AICNA), which is a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group that has been advocating for Muslim Americans for over 40 years.
AICNA, which represents more than 400,000 Muslim American members in the state of California, says that while Muslim Americans represent less than 0.1% of the state’s population, the vast majority of them live in the Bay Area.
“Muslims have been marginalized in the media, and it is the Muslims who are underrepresented in the American Muslim community,” AIC NA President Muhammad Hassan said.
The Muslim American Community Center in Los Angeles has partnered in recent years with Christian Clothing to help promote Christian clothing in the community.
“The growth of our brand and our presence has been significant,” said Christian Streetwears CEO John Ritchie.
“It’s really an exciting opportunity to build our brand here in California.”
Christian Clothing plans to continue expanding in the area, and is planning to hire a number of new people to work in the company.
D’Angelo said Christian Clothing’s efforts to attract Muslim shoppers have also had a positive impact on the local Muslim community.
In the past two years, Christian Streetweets has seen a jump in Muslim-American members, according Binyamin Bekhta, a spokesperson for AIC.
“For some reason, a lot of people have come to know us as an authentic Christian clothing company,” Bekhhta said.
He added that Muslim American shoppers have been attracted to Christian StreetWear because of the company’s commitment to providing quality products.
“This has helped to build trust with Muslim consumers,” he said.
Darryl McManus, CEO of Christian Streetware, said the rise of Muslim immigrants is also helping to build an Asian American community.
McManuses said that while the company has been more successful in attracting Muslim-Americans, the company still has a long way to go.
“Our Muslim employees are still underrepresented,” he explained.
“And I think there is still a long road ahead to be a successful Muslim-majority company.”
For now, the business is expanding and growing, and the growth is largely driven by Muslims who have been introduced to Christian clothing.
“I think that we have to keep our eye on what we can do to make this happen,” McManuss said.
ChristianStreetwear is currently in the process of hiring more people to help with sales.
“One thing that we’re doing right now is trying to recruit new employees,” he continued.
“That means we’re looking at new people who have some experience in sales.”
Christian Streetwise is working to expand in Southern New England, which is home to a large Muslim population and a strong community of Muslims.
“When we started, we