This Under-the-Radar Workout Brand Rivals Nike — and Has Philanthropic and Eco-Friendly Roots

From sweat-drenched HIIT sessions and chill yoga flows to days spent on the couch, Janji's running gear is fit for work, play, and all the sweating in between.

This Under-the-Radar Running Apparel Brand Has Gear That's *Just* as Comfy as Nike
Photo: Courtesy of Janji

In the world of athletic apparel, the divide between the Nike and Under Armour fandoms runs as deep as the one between the members of Team Edward and Team Jacob. Despite both companies' trendy gear, I've always stayed out of the intense feud, instead quietly rooting for the underdogs of athleisure, like Nordstrom's functional Zella or budget-friendly Old Navy. Even so, I've never developed a hard-core passion for any particular brand.

But all that changed when I was introduced to Janji, a running apparel and gear company that designs each of its pieces with performance in mind. First, let's get one thing straight: I would not consider myself a runner. I dabbled on and off throughout college when I was desperate for some cardio, but I never crave a three-mile jog or treadmill sprints. So while I can't speak to the quality of the gearwhile pounding the pavement or the belt, I can tell you that Janji's apparel withstands the tests and sweat of any other workout.

Take the 7/8 Groundwork Tight (Buy It, $88,, for example. Made from breathable, moisture-wicking nylon fabric, these slightly compressive leggings have kept me cool and free of swass (aka sweaty a**) stains throughout countless weight lifting sessions, hot and heavy HIIT workouts sans air conditioning, and long walks home from Target. Plus, the five (yes, five) pockets allow me to easily stash my phone, keys, and cash without having to use a running belt or lug a purse around if I wear them outside.

But the feature that makes these Janji leggings stand out from the crowd is the internal drawcord in the waistband, allowing you to tighten the pants to fit just right. Since I've always struggled to find leggings that fit both my quads and waist, I was over the moon to discover that these tights didn't move an inch down my body with every single jump squat.

7/8 Groundwork Tight

Buy It: 7/8 Groundwork Tight, $88,

For Vinyasa flows, Sundays spent lounging around the house, and chilly WFH mornings, I turn to the Mercury Track Pant (Buy It, $88, TBH, I've never found a pair of comfy joggers that didn't make me feel frumpy. But these bad boys are made from an ultra light-weight, stretchy material that's ideal for downward dogs and warrior poses, and they're fitted enough to look chic while still being functional. Not to mention, the fabric is also buttery soft and warm enough to sport on a fall hike.

Mercury Track Pant

Buy It: Mercury Track Pant, $88,

And on the trail is exactly where I plan to wear the Swift Tech Mockneck (Buy It, $66, long sleeve. With its blend of polyester, merino wool, and spandex, the Janji tee is theromoregulating, meaning it will keep you from getting too toasty or chilled while you make your trek — or as you wander down your city's sidewalks, which is how I'm currently using the shirt. Plus, the tee is treated with Polygiene, an anti-odor agent that helps keep the fabric fresh and free of gnarly sweat smells for longer. That means you can wear it multiple times before tossing it in the laundry — a small perk for Mother Earth. (

Swift Tech Mockneck

Buy It: Swift Tech Mockneck, $66,

For me, it's this environmental consideration and the brand's social responsibility efforts that really seal the deal on Janji. All of the brand's fabrics are bluesign or OEKO-TEX-certified, meaning they're non-toxic and harmful chemicals aren't used in the production process. Plus, the company knows it still has some work to do; by 2022, Janji plans on subbing the virgin, non-biodegradable polyester it uses in its gear for recycled polyester, biodegradable polyester, or recycled nylon, all of which will help reduce company's environmental footprint. (For more green gear, shop these activewear brands.)

What the company currently lacks in recycled and biodegradable fabrics, it makes up for in philanthropic initiatives. Each season, Janji chooses a country to inspire the brand's apparel (meaning, the styles and colorways change twice a year), partners with a different non-profit organization in that country that's working to create clean water solutions, and gives 2 percent of proceeds back to the partner. What's more, the entire $50 fee from Janji's membership program — which unlocks a lifetime 15-percent discount, early access to new releases, and exclusive products — goes toward supporting these clean water projects.

All things considered, Janji's apparel does as much for your kindhearted soul as it does for your workout. And while I can't say the leggings and tees have convinced me to take up running (at least, not yet), they have turned me into Janji junkie who would fight any Nike or Under Armour fan over which brand wears the crown. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

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