How we do things matters.
Responsibility is the intersection of sustainable choices with social and ethical practices.
To be a fully responsible apparel brand — especially one that relies heavily on performance-based materials, operates in an industry that still too heavily defaults to the status quo and contributes to the production of over 100 billion pieces of apparel a year — is a complex and constant challenge. We are a small, independent mission-driven company, and while we tirelessly work toward an ideal, admittedly we are far from perfect. We are holding ourselves accountable to continually improve how we treat people, planet, and products as we put our best foot forward and make better choices every day.
P.F.M. — Perpetual Forward Motion. This is a motto of ours that we remind ourselves of as we continue, one step in front of the next, on this ongoing journey toward building a better company and industry.
Fabrics are critical; we are ambitious.
Our goal is to create the highest-performing, longest lasting and most dependable running gear that requires less washing, minimizes maintenance and reduces waste. We are designing for hard-wearing capability and unfussy reliability in order to maximize the years of joy experienced through running in Janji apparel. For us, to be Responsible regarding our product is not merely a factor of fabric composition or transitioning away from virgin plastics to recycled content. Yes that is important, but making apparel that can be worn more, wears longer, and needs to be replaced less often, is another critical part of the equation.
Read more about our fabrics.
Our fabric initiatives + developments
While we have made recent strides in being more conscious of our material choices, we still have a lot of ground to cover to become the most sustainable version of ourselves. Below is some of the progress we’ve made so far and the commitments we will continue building upon:
Starting with the upcoming FW20 season, 100% of our primary fabrics, including our brief liners, will be bluesign® and/or OEKO-TEX® certified as part of our commitment toward upholding the highest standards for both the environment and people involved in the production of our fabrics.
bluesign® and OEKO-TEX® are third party certifications that ensure fabrics are non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals throughout the production process. We pay a premium for our fabrics to be made under these guidelines.
1/3 of our primary fabric program for the FW20 season is made from a majority recycled polyester and we will convert our mainstay Transit Tech fabric over from virgin polyester to recycled poly in 2021.
We will introduce our first organic cotton fabric in FW20, which will be GOTS certified beginning in SS21, while transitioning the rest of our cotton program over to US grown, premium Supima® cotton for more resilient, longer lasting and softer feeling cotton tops.
We will move away from virgin, non-biodegradable polyester within our primary fabric program by 2022, either using recycled polyester, biodegradable polyester or more durable, longer-lasting and odor-resistant nylon and recycled nylon (while this goal is non-inclusive of trims, we are looking into developing these items more sustainably as we scale our production).
We will introduce our first recycled nylon fabric as well as transition our Rainrunner WP 2.5L Shell and other fabrics from polyester to more tear-resistant, durable nylon in 2021.
We are looking into more ways in which we can use naturally sustainable fibers within our apparel program without sacrificing capability or durability; we will introduce a new performance fabric in 2021 with a majority natural fiber content.
We are researching biodegradable synthetic fabrics and ways in which we can create better closed loop systems within our apparel lifecycle, such as our newly launched Gear Swap program for our Janji Collective members.
We are researching ways to reduce water waste within our fabric production, dying processes, and within the lifecycle of the gear we make, including designing Janji apparel to require less washing — both to reduce water consumption and micro-fiber shedding. This will partly be through the use of more odor-resistant fabrics as well as working with our manufacturing partners on low water consumption practices and/or wastewater recycling methods.
While we currently rely on C6 DWR finishes, a short-chain PFC treatment for our water repellent fabrics — Transit Tech, Rainrunner WP 2.5L Shell, and upcoming Stormrunner Fleece — that is better than long-chain PFC finishes (ie C8) although still not environmentally ideal, we plan on debuting our first PFC-free C0 DWR (all natural based) apparel in SS21.
Our envelope mailers are made from 100% post-consumer recycled content, are entirely biodegradable and compostable and are printed with water based ink. We have used these mailers since 2017, along with eliminating ‘folding paper’ and silica bags within our garment packaging in 2019 to reduce waste.
HANG TAGS + SWIFT TAGS
We print our hang tags on FSC certified paper and have eliminated the use of swift tags (also known as kimbles) or plastic pieces in attaching them to our garments, although a few of our accessories still use these swift tags which we are looking to replace with a better alternative in 2021.
While we currently rely on biodegradable poly-bags to protect the apparel in transit, we are actively researching a better alternative in the hope of moving away from poly-bags in 2021. To date, we have not found an ideal solution that guarantees the same level of protection for the apparel throughout the shipping process.
Our manufacturing partners are invaluable members of the Janji team.
It goes without saying that being a responsible apparel company means working with manufacturing partners that uphold ethical practices, fair labor conditions and best production processes. Ensuring these criteria are met is not always easy when this production happens on the other side of the globe.
The majority of Janji production happens across multiple factories in Vietnam, and our two primary partner facilities are voluntarily part of the WRAP certification process, receiving GOLD status to date. WRAP is a non-profit that specializes in auditing apparel and footwear manufacturers to check their compliance with their 12 Principles based on internationally accepted conditions and toward the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This standard, along with the premium we pay for our fabrics to be certified bluesign® and/or OEKO-TEX® from our mills, is a start. We are working with our manufacturing partners to continue implementing more sustainable, environmentally-friendly processes that minimize waste and wastewater along with ways to on-board Fair Trade partner mills in the near future.
We Run to Work
The majority of the Janji team is fortunate enough to commute by foot or bike to the Janji Studio each day, forming the backbone of our de facto wear test program by commuting daily in future prototypes.
As an apparel studio, printing is a necessity although we try to reduce the need for printing as much as possible, and only use FSC certified paper. While we have currently transitioned to working remotely, we were about to implement a compost system and are planning on doing so when the team safely returns to working in the studio again. We are also working toward eliminating single-use plastic utensils, cups and dishware at the office.
Run Everywhere, a philosophy.
Much of the brand DNA of Janji revolves around travel. We are inspired by the places we visit and run, both at home and abroad. We denounce isolationism and nationalism in the belief that we are all humans after all, that we can benefit by learning from each other, and that the connections that come from travel are invaluable as a reminder to get outside ourselves. We also acknowledge that travel is a luxury and realize that it comes with its own negative footprint. As a team, we are looking into ways of measuring and reducing this impact as we aspire to tread as lightly as possible and leave-no-trace on the places we visit. As humans, we must accept how we've impacted the environment and how we have a shared responsibility to be better stewards of the planet. As runners, the Earth also shapes us and we strongly believe in running as the best way to connect with and know our home.