For some time now, Janji has slowly started to fill more and more apparel racks across our stores, and it only feels right to give them a bit more of an introduction as they become a staple in our store and running community.
Janji was founded in 2012 with the centralized goal of creating a product that gave back to communities around the world, not just benefiting the runners rockin’ the gear. Toward this end, the company has worked to not only make their items more sustainable, but has established a program which works directly toward that fundamental mission: their global Water Partners initiative. While Janji is doing what many other brands are doing in the way of sustainability (maximizing durability, using recycled materials, and cutting plastic from the supply chain), the Water Partners project is really what distinguishes the brand and provides that main avenue to that principle of giving back.
So what does it necessarily entail? Essentially, 2% of proceeds from every purchase go directly to funding clean water initiatives around the world. They also funnel 100% of their collective membership fees directly into those projects (membership is an optional one-time fee for any customer or supporter of the brand and comes with a forever 15% discount). To illustrate how central this mission is to the spirit of Janji, every cycle of partnerships corresponds with apparel celebrating some aspect of the country in which the initiatives are being put into place. For instance, as of this writing (Fall 2022), their current Water Partners are Chile and the island of Java in Indonesia; therefore, the collections are created with artists from those regions to bring both more awareness to the nations, and to illuminate their cultures in uniquely authentic ways (in this case, Yaikel from Chile and 2 Javanese artists in Arwin and Soni). Through this program, Janji not only is achieving its goal of giving back, but is accomplishing a great feat of connecting communities around the world, runners and non-runners alike. Janji’s work introduces each customer to a community bringing fresh, clean water to all corners of the globe, allowing all to give back to this lifestyle that has given so much to us. So far, there have been projects (and corresponding collections) with Kenya, Peru, Nepal, Uganda, Bolivia, Cambodia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, India, and good ol’ Texas, all working toward the collective goal of uniting transnational communities through quality running products (that just so happen to look real good).
It’s no secret that Reno has a fantastic running community that is constantly working for the betterment of itself and its members, both current and future. To this amateur runner, Janji feels like an organization that shares the values of this running community: support, dedication, and connection. I have been able to personally try out some of the Janji products and they are, of course, some of the highest value running gear in my rotation at the moment. I have been testing out their Repeat Merino Tech Long Sleeve and as we head into the colder and darker days of the year, I definitely am going to appreciate the performance and extra warmth the top has provided. Conversely, the 5” AFO Middle Short has been a mainstay in my runs, short and long, due to the fact that they just disappear from my mind while I’m hitting the trail. They are lightweight, yet maintain a good, structured fit from one stride to the next. I’d say from a performance perspective, Janji has 100% earned the green light from me. I’ve taken them across our neighborhoods, I’ve fallen on our trails in them, I’ve slung shoes in them, and if that wasn’t enough, they have a 5 year “Run Everywhere Guarantee” for exchanges and warranties if anything isn’t being satisfied by the product.
As an employee of Reno Running Co. and member of our Reno running community, I’m very excited to see Janji in our stores across town, and all the more excited to be able to take part in the kind of international connection that Janji strives to grow and maintain. However, more than that, as someone who was fortunate enough to live in one of these communities, it is wonderful to see brands working to alleviate the strains of the water supply for the people who need it. And finally, as a Reno Running Co customer, I am very much coveting the Chile collection, but am excited to see what future seasons will bring, both with quality running gear and philanthropic endeavors.