At some point in time, someone said: "if you have the chance to do some good in this world, you should definitely do it." And while I'm almost certain that line was puked out by a Shia LeBoeuf type in one of the many Marvel films of the past decade, it's a sentiment that I strongly believe in. Big or small, we all have opportunities to tip the scale in the right direction, but shamefully most of us never quite take the leap.

For Janji, the idea of doing the right thing is woven straight into the products they make. A process co-founder Dave Spandorfer explained to us over email: "Every season, we go to a different country around the world, meet with local artists, and then design a line around that country and community." But rather than stopping there, Janji take it one step further.

"10% of the sale from every piece of gear from that seasonal line goes back toward funding clean water solutions in that very country." So for the company's Nepal collection, not only did they collaborate with artists and fabric makers, they then flushed 10% of the sales back into water solutions in the county. It's a simple concept, sure, but one that works on two levels: firstly, it creates a culture around the company, from the people creating the products all the way through to the people buying them; and secondly it's the sort of thing that we should all be doing, right? I think we can all agree on that.

When prepping for this feature, we managed to get our hands on a few key items from their collection: the Men's Dabala Travel Tech Long Sleeve, and the Men's Bhui Track Pant, both of which showcased a company crafting functional, yet beautiful garments. The Dabalain particular really impressed - sitting somewhere between a technical running top and a jacket thanks to its two fabric layers.

To further find out about Janji - a company you can clearly tell we're fond of - we quizzed Spandorfer about how it all got started, and what they have in store for us in the future. We also get to find out who the best runner at Janji is. Read on below.


How did the company get started?

The idea for the company came when my co-founder and I were in college. We knew the power of running for part of a team and we knew the impact of the many races for charity. We thought: what if we could create a community of runners dedicated to running for something meaningful, something that would create an impact and break down barriers. We applied for a business plan competition, won, and then launched Janji as soon as we graduated. It’s been quite the ride ever since.

What would you say separates you from other companies in your field?

The two things that truly separate Janji are our inspiration and our impact. Every season, we go to a different country around the world, meet with local artists, and then design a line around that country and community. Then, 10% of the sale from every piece of gear from that seasonal line goes back toward funding clean water solutions in that very country. So for instance, for our Nepal collection, we went to Nepal, met with artists, met with fabric makers in Kathmandu, created inspiration from around the country and then 10% of the sale funds clean water solutions with our Nepal partner, Splash.


Image courtey of Janji

How does the design process work for you: specifically the balance between functionality and aesthetic?

The balance between functionality and aesthetic is challenging, but probably the most fun part of what we do. For instance, we want our gear to be great for running, wearing around, and travelling. In short, we want Janji to be the first thing a runner packs in their suitcase. So we’ve added tons of pockets, odour resistant material, and non-wrinkle fabric. As for the aesthetics, we try and work with inspiration from our partner countries to come up with unique patterns and deliver an amazing experience that also delivers both on the track and the trails.

Who is the best runner at the company?

Tough question. My co-founder, Mike, finished 68th at the Boston Marathon, but I have better PRs on the track, from the 400 to the 10k. So it depends on the distance!


Image courtey of Janji

If one album could sum up the brand, what would it be and why?

What a question. We’re big music lovers at Janji, so this question might simply slide into whatever we’re enjoying at the moment. But I’ll go with The Revivalists’ 2014 City of Sound. The first time The Revivalists ever visited Boston they played at Janji’s private, Boston Marathon After Party for our biggest fans. Like us, that album is upbeat, a bit raw, and experienced best in-person.

What piece are you most proud of and why?

Another tough question that varies depending on the week. For me right now, it’s our Rover Hoodie collection, which was recently named one of Runner’s World’s best items of the year. But ask me in a month and I’ll have a new answer. Thanks to our awesome designers, Janji gear keeps on getting better.

Lastly, what do you have coming up that you think we should keep a look out for?

In late February, we launch our Uganda collection, which draws fabulous inspiration from the East African nation. Look for some of the best shorts, best singlets, and best shirt fabrics you’ve ever tried. I can’t wait to wear it myself.


To buy all of Janji's beautiful products, head over to their official website (seriously, buy everything they make). They can also be found over at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.