Janji is a socially conscious running clothing company dedicated to fighting the global food and water crisis. Based in Boston, Janji sells running shirts and shorts designed based on the flags of developing countries. Part of the profit from each sale goes toward charities based in that country. "Janji" means "promise" in Malay, and refers to Janji's promise to "run for another," the company's slogan.
Run for another
|Founded||May 3, 2012|
|Founder(s)||Michael Burnstein and David Spandorfer|
Janji was founded by students on the cross country team at Washington University in St. Louis. While travelling to the 2010 NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships, David Spandorfer and Michael Burnstein came up with the idea of a creating a running clothes company that gives back. After gaining David Hamm as head designer and Ken Fairleigh, the group turned Janji into a legitimate and growing company over the next two years.
In 2011, the group won the top prize in the Youthbridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition (SEIC) at Washington University, earning Janji $15,000 for their efforts. In October of that same year, the group earned their company $20,000 in start-up money when they took another first in the UCCS Sports/Outdoors Business Plan Competition.
In May 2012, Janji launched their product line at Big River Running, a specialty running store in St. Louis, Missouri. Their first line of clothing sponsored two countries, Kenya and Haiti. Over the course of the summer of 2012, Janji slowly released in multiple running stores around the country. As of June 19, 2012, product orders had been placed by 92 specialty running stores in 28 states around the country.
The original name of the business was "Edele." They changed the name, co-founder David Spandorfer said, because people could not figure out how to pronounce "Edele" and often confused the name with Adele. "Janji," its current and permanent name, means "promise" in Malay.
Janji's first product line released shirts and shorts designed based on the flags of Haiti and Kenya. They featured two shirts and two pairs of shorts for each gender in four different sizes. The women's pair of Run for Haiti shorts features the country's national colors and bird.
Janji works with partner organizations based in the countries they sponsor. Part of the proceeds from each sale goes toward a direct donation to a charity organization.
In Haiti, Janji works with Meds & Food for Kids (MFK), a non-profit dedicated to saving the lives of Haiti's malnourished children and other nutritionally vulnerable people. The tag on the shorts and shirts reads, "When you purchase this piece of Janji's Haiti apparel, you give 8 packets of nutritional medicine to a Haitian child. 25% of Haitian children are malnourished. But by providing Janji-sponsored nutritional medicines from Meds and Food for Kids, a child can become healthy in just 6 weeks! Janji's Haiti apparel is inspired by the Haitian flag".
In Kenya, Janji works with KickStart, which subsidizes sustainable water pumps for agricultural use. In an interview with a local newspaper in Brookline, Massachusetts, Michael Burnstein, co-founder, emphasized that Janji looks for organizations that provide "innovative" and "proven" solutions to the global food and water crisis, ones that, "attack the problem at the root." Each sale of Janji's Kenya apparel provides a Kenya family with a season's worth of water.
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