Running apparel startup Janji helps fund clean water initiatives in Africa, Peru, India

Brookline-based Janji is a running apparel startup with a lofty mission that goes beyond profit: to help people in underdeveloped countries get access to clean water through the sale of its clothing. To date, the startup has raised $50,000 since its founding in 2010 for global clean water initiatives in Africa, Peru and Bangladesh, with India on the horizon next spring, and is continuing to launch new e-commerce projects to help solve the crisis. Janji's latest social project aims to raise $500 to help a water sanitization project in rural Uganda in partnership with Washington, D.C.-based Evidence Action. As part of the project, an original Janji shirt design is available exclusively from Oct. 27 to Nov. 2. If 50 shirts are pre-ordered, about a quarter of the proceeds will help sanitize drinking water for about 300 Ugandan residents through Evidence Action. "This is a trial run and our goal is to try to help our customers in the running community feel closer and more connected to these projects we're working on," said Mike Burnstein, co-founder of Janji. The project, which Burnstein hopes will be the first of many, can also act as a "lab" to test different designs, Burnstein said. The project is currently about halfway funded. Janji sells its apparel through its website and in about 100 running stores around the country including City Sports. The company has raised $450,000 to date from undisclosed owners of top running stores in the country and angel investors since its founding in 2010, Burnstein said. Each of the products' designs are inspired by the different countries Janji hopes to make a tangible social impact in. The company is based in Brookline and employs four full time. runjanji.com/

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