Janji Running Apparel: A Company With a Conscience

janji-vertical-logoJust over a week ago I got an email from Dave Spandorfer at Janji asking if I’d be interested in trying out some of their running apparel.

I get a lot of requests like this and often decline them because I find it hard to review clothing. It fits or it doesn’t. It’s comfortable or it’s not. There’s not much more to say. I told Dave that I couldn’t promise a formal review, but he indicated he wanted to send me something anyway, so I figured what the heck, why not?

I had heard of the brand Janji, and was vaguely aware of their clothing line, but I’d never really dug in and checked them out as a company. I’m glad that I did!

A pair of shorts from Janji arrived a few days ago, and my wife’s first response when she saw them was “those are way more colorful than anything you wear.” She was right. My taste in running shorts is pretty bland, and a pair in bright blue, red and white with a logo from the Haitian flag was a bit of a departure from my usual attire. But, I’m not averse to colorful shoes or shirts, so why the bias against a bit of color in my shorts? They actually did look kinda nice:

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I tried them on, and the fit is to my liking. Not too baggy, not too long (mid-thigh). I’m a size 34-35 waist in most pants and I wouldn’t go any smaller than the large they sent me. Comfort was good, and no strange chafe over 7 miles running later that afternoon (they were under a pair of long pants, to cold for shorts only right now!). Will I continue to wear them? Yes. But a review isn’t really what this post is for.

After getting the shorts I decided to poke around on the Janji website a bit, and came away impressed by what I saw. They are a company with a mission to provide food and water to those in need. They donate a portion of each sale (25% of gross margins according to the FAQs) to partner organizations in various countries who provide essential services. As an example, buying a pair of the Haiti running shorts provides funds for 8 packets of nutritional medicine to a malnourished child in Haiti. Similar programs are in place with organizations in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Peru, and the USA (the company is based in Boston and they donate a portion of profits from sales of their logo branded apparel to the Greater Boston Food Bank).

As one who is averse to spending a ton of money on running apparel, this is a company that is doing something good with the profits that they make. Their prices are by no means the cheapest out there, but I’m impressed enough by the company mission that I just bought a Janji shirt. I encourage you to check them out!

For more info, head over to the Janji website or watch the interview below with Janji co-founder Dave Spandorfer:

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.



Comments

  1. Great post – always good to hear about companies that make a difference. I love the ethos around the company, but the designs miss a few key features I have for selecting running gear.
    - Lack of reflective material – a must have since I mostly run along roads, and I see daily how unattentive drivers are and need all the (visibility) help I can get. The (tiny) reflective logo on the back offers no help as I’m running toward oncoming traffic.
    - lack of pockets. I’m not a fan of the internal stash pockets that most short have, (often cause chaffing, hard to access) and prefer exterior zippered ones.

    Hoping that they can incorporate some of these ideas in the future.

  2. I never heard that company before. I glad you share this to us. I want to wear something different than long time and famous brands. Many thanks!

  3. Awesome to see them getting some more press and spreading the word about an awesome product and awesome idea. I’ve been following their progress for the past few years and they’ve been doing some great things.

  4. Brad Patterson says:

    Pete, I’m thinking about ordering some of these shorts. I normally wear a size medium in all of my other running shorts. Do you think the Janji short sizes “run true” compared to other brands? I want to make sure before I order. I am about a 32-33″ waist size. Thanks!

    • I usually wear a 34 waist and a large in the Janjis is much snugger than most other brands. Tough call, if you like a bit of bagginess I’d say size up.

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