“Goodness is the only investment that never fails” – Henry David Thoreau
Whether it’s reducing consumption by promoting the reuse of worn products, providing clean water to communities in need, or ensuring the use of fair labor practices, there are running companies that are making sincere efforts towards having positive impacts on society in ways that extend beyond their product. As an homage to these efforts, we decided to highlight a few of the brands that have made social responsibility a central part of their business model and to give a rundown of some of the contributions that they make.
Patagonia, a benefit corporation sports apparel company that has built a name for itself on contributions to the environment, has social responsibility built into their mission statement: “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, [and] use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” One of the many ways Patagonia has reduced its environmental footprint is through their Worn Wear program, which takes well preserved clothing and fixes it up to be reused by other athletes. The incentive? When an athlete sends in their Worn Wear they receive store credit so that they can replace their apparel. Our trucker hats are off to you, Patagonia.
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Janji, a relatively new running apparel company, has made helping those in need a central aspect of their company. As runners, we consume large quantities of water in order to stay hydrated, but we often overlook the ease with which we can access that water. Janji has made it their goal to improve global access to clean water by taking 10% of the proceeds from each apparel item sold and using it to fund clean water projects. Each collection is crafted around the architecture and culture of a specific country, and as the apparel pieces sell, the money is used to provide clean drinking water in that area. According to Janji’s website, “each Janji running shirt provides a person with enough drinking water for an entire year,” which drives home how inexpensive it is to make a difference. The spring 2017 location is Peru, and we’re excited to see where Janji goes next.
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Clif, in addition to having some of the tastiest bars around, is a socially responsible company that focuses on sustainability and reducing their environmental footprint. Their sustainable sourcing practices stem from their “CORE” values: connect, organic, restore, and ethical. Connect means that Clif creates lasting relationships with the farmers who supply them with their fresh ingredients while ensuring that these farmers have created a traceable supply chain. Organic means that Clif aims for almost exclusively organic ingredients for their products. Restore means that Clif is constantly working to reduce their environmental footprint. An example? Clif is working to ensure that their key production facilities are nearly zero waste. Ethical means that Clif sources its ingredients from suppliers that institute fair labor practices. In fact, Clif has an intensive screening process and requires their suppliers to meet certain labor standards. Clif is basically golden to the CORE.
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Sierra balances an overflowing schedule of work, college, and running, and can relate to any 20-something who’s trying to figure out life. Her running is her kind of self-care – and also the small amount of time that she gets to spend with herself every day, coming before all else (except her dog, Butters).