I first read about Janji, a running apparel company with a conscious, after returning from Kenya in September of 2013. Serendipitous, really. I left Nairobi 3 days before the horrific terrorist attack at the Westgate Shopping Mall. I was actually in that very mall, sitting in a coffee shop, reflecting on The Trip of a Lifetime days before it was under siege. I was stunned watching the coverage. Bodies slumped at the very table we sat. Terror. Panic. Death. I blogged about that very day here. I was devastated to see this happening to a country I had fallen in love with. A People who were so very welcoming and kind. And in such need.
I had never experienced abject poverty quite like that exists in Kenya. Ever. That day in the Coffee Shop, which would become the scene of a terrorist massacre, I reflected on my stay in Kenya. What struck me most? Water. The lack of potable water. There is a water crisis in Kenya. It’s huge. And not just drinking water, but also for crops, agriculture and livestock. You would see women walking miles with jugs of water. Miles. And not in sneakers either. In the old dress shoes you gave to Goodwill 4 years ago. It was heartbreaking to me. Such need. I looked to see how I could help. And I found Janji.
Janji is a running apparel company founded by Mike Burnstein and Dave Spandorfor who’s mission is to create a community of runners dedicated to run for another. Perfect! I thought. The company’s mission is to provide clean water and food to those in crisis by giving a portion of the proceeds from their sales to organizations who fund solutions and projects related to the global food and water crisis. And they don’t just do it in Kenya. Haiti, Rwanda, Peru, Tanzania, the United States….and several other countries too. Sure, many runners give thru running. The giving usually ends on race day. Mike and Dave, competitive runners themselves, thought that rather than giving to a cause for just one day, runners can give back through everyday training. And here’s where my love affair with Janji begins.
I purchased the Women’s Kenya Acacia Tee and Kenya shorts because I loved the cause. Simply loved it. I figured at the very least, I was giving back to Kenya and providing a family with a growing season’s worth of water via a low-cost water pump. Total. Win-Win. I felt like I was doing something meaningful AND a Kenyan Family would benefit. But here’s what happened. I really loved their product! The fit. The function. The quality. Excellent! And, not for nothing, it’s cute. (I’m simply being honest.) My quads and I sometimes have a tough time finding shorts that don’t bunch up and ride way up resulting in a long run spent tugging at them and muttering under my belabored breath. These are perfect. The shirt is cut beautifully- not tightly fitted and has this neat stitching. It’s really well made. I’m not sure it will work for me on a 90 degree day with 100% humidity, but tonight it was perfect.
I love this company. And their product. (And no one told me to say so either!) I’ve already got my eye on a singlet. And the Kenya Anna short. And a no-slip headband…
Let the water flow. 🙂
EXCITING UPDATE! Get 25% off ALL KENYA GEAR with coupon code: marasprint. The coupon expires on Monday, June 16th! THANKS JANJI!!!!