Janji is a running apparel brand that provides water to those in need around the globe. When you purchase running apparel from Janji, a portion of the proceeds funds organizations that are tackling the world’s water crisis.
The story of Janji started when two college friends, Dave Spandorfer and Mike Burnstein, were running for Washington University in St. Louis. Both Dave and Mike felt lucky to have running in their lives. As Dave explained to me, running gave them self-confidence, a passion for goal setting and structure in their lives. Running has always been a positive in his and Mike’s life.
Dave says that there was one particular track meet that was held on an extremely hot day. Clean water was the only thing that kept him from passing out in the 90+ degree heat. Runners are particularly attuned to hydration and the impact that even the smallest sip of water could have on the outcome of a run. He and Mike had the desire to give back, but they felt the need to do more than just a race for a cause. They talked about ways they could make a bigger impact with their running.
Dave and Mike launched Janji in May of 2012 as a way to fund solutions to the water crisis while also raising awareness. The college friends won a business competition to fund their idea, and Janji was born.
Janji means promise in Malay. Janji’s promise is to give back during each and every run, not just on race day. When you purchase a shirt from Janji, one year of clean water is provided to a community in need. Purchases of outerwear provide three years of clean water.
Every piece of Janji’s high-performance running apparel has a design that is inspired by a country. The proceeds of the sale of that item gives clean water to that country. The women’s Rwanda Rain Forest Running Shirt (pictured below), for example, depicts the Rwandan rain forest combined with zig-zagged elements found in local basketry. Access to clean water in Rwanda is provided by Living Water International.
Janji partners with several water-focused organizations around the globe. Their biggest partner is Water.org.
As for the unique designs of the apparel, Janji works with local artists from the countries it represents, taking direct inspiration from each country. Janji doesn’t just celebrate giving back, it also celebrates the cultures it represents. Dave tells me the running shorts, shirts and outerwear sold by Janji is made by a socially conscious fair trade company near Hong Kong.
Since Janji launched, it has provided over 22,000 years of clean water through its partners.
Dave also says the best way to understand Janji is to check it out. Their goal is to create something that runners love, that looks good, fits well and is super easy to shop and return, if needed, all while making the world a little better. You can visit and shop Janji at runjanji.com. Dave was even kind enough to give me a free shipping code – FreeShipPF – so my readers can save a few bucks with a purchase.
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. Read past stories here.