Review: Run Janji. And Run for Another.


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. πŸ™‚

EXCITING UPDATE! Get 25% off ALL KENYA GEAR with coupon code: marasprint. The coupon expires on Monday, June 16th! THANKS JANJI!!!!




26 thoughts on “Review: Run Janji. And Run for Another.

  1. I can’t believe that you were there so close to the attach.
    I was talking to a running store manager last night. They collect shoes at their store. Nike was taking them and griding them up for track surfaces. We discussed the merit of collecting shoes to ship to Africa – which is what they currently do w/ the shoes they collect.
    Does it make sense to spend $50 processing and shipping a pair of old running shoes to Africa. Maybe setting up a factory in Africa to make low cost shoes to sell in Africa would make more sense. Local jobs, fewer green house gas emissions etc.
    Recycling my shoes makes me feel better, but is it really a cost effective way to help people?

    • As I watched the terror unfold over on CNN, and the photos that emerged, I spotted our waitress, running out of the Art CafΓ©, bleeding. I’m still shocked about it.

      I am not sure what the answer to that question is, quite honestly. If you collected a shipping container worth and sent it? Probably? Let me tell you though, all of your old t-shirts–GAP, Old Navy, old race Ts, your Sunday Best from 1989—all the stuff you’ve every donated to Goodwill or other agencies—it’s all there. In many cases being re-sold. In fact one of the issues is that there are so many L, XL, XXL items of clothing that they have to be taken in. Kenya isn’t exactly battling an obesity epidemic.

      Setting up a factory may help? I’m not certain. Corruption and terrorism is super high. It’s not my area of expertise. I’m a lowly biologist and I can tell you that clean water is imperative to health. I know sneakers themselves will help. So many Kenyans walk MILES to and from jobs within Nairobi. Many live on the outskirts. According to the several Kenyans I spoke with, it is not unusual to walk 10K ONE WAY to a job. IN DRESS SHOES. Through paths worn through rough, red earth. (What sidewalks? And if it rains? Street flooding the likes of which you have never seen. What drainage?) And bicycles will help too. And tires and tubes. The need is overwhelming.

      Speaking from my own personal experience in Kenya, companies that help- truly help and empower like Janji- are worthy of support. For sure. πŸ™‚

      • I saw a show on PBS or al Jazerra about our clothes in Kenya. There is a big business in tayloring the t-shirts that are so big. They are very creative.
        One guy saw his old HS LaCrosse shirt on someone walking down the street in Niarobi! It was pretty funny.

      • I’m pretending to work while day dreaming about it. I’ve completely fooled my self that this is not going to be a painful event. It is a marathon after all, not a walk in the park.
        Have a great weekend.

  2. Pingback: Run Janji {Review} | hellyontherun

  3. Pingback: Riding the wave. And Running for Another.Β  | It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

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