This collaboration story starts in Boston. Our brand started showing up on people we knew – people with whom we were working, people who embodied our community. And on many of those same people, we saw Janji – a brand born from a love for running, yet living a mission to connect the community and do something bigger. The idea that there was another brand out there coming from a similar place as we was a breath of fresh air.
Janji is a Boston-based running apparel startup with a simple mission – provide clean water to those in developing countries who do not currently have access. The founders, Dave and Mike, are two incredible human beings. They are competitive runners with hearts of gold and a shared passion to help people through the sport of running. And from that shared passion, Janji was born.
“It took one blistering hot race day to remind us how important water is to keep doing what we love.
It got us thinking: How many people in the world lack access to this human right?
The answer: 1 in 10 people worldwide.”
But beyond clean water initiatives, Dave and Mike have painstakingly involved themselves in every aspect of the business. They’ve visited the manufacturing facility in Shanghai to ensure proper labor practices. They closely assess the needs of different countries – visiting many of them, vet their partners, and select the organizations with whom they work with the utmost scrutiny. Designs are inspired by or even created by local artists in those communities. They even source select materials from the different communities in which they support clean water projects.
They believe so strongly in this. We believe in them. So we talked. And it wasn’t long before we were in collaboration mode and concepting designs. We are two brands that see the global running community as the heart of what we do. And we wanted to come together to create something unique for that community.
Our caps are known because they perform. You can run in them for real. They work. But since day one the visual aspect of what we do has been important as well. We approach the design process by asking, “Will it work during the run? And how does it represent the run during your time off?” That’s The GOCap. It’s become the go-to, run-ready silhouette. It’s style is rooted in outdoor lifestyle, and that makes it a good fit for Janji’s love of adventure.
Janji’s apparel design is always inspired by the communities they support, and the designs are often born from those communities, whether the artwork is created by a local artist or inspired by the culture. We loved that about their brand and knew right away that this would be print-heavy.
In the two years since we started Ciele Athletics, we’ve designed a whole lot of caps. But this was the first time we’ve ever sublimated 90% of the cap with any graphic. This was because Janji does prints right. And the prints always speak intimately to their brand ethos and roots.
The patterns on these caps were born from their Mombasa Collection, a collection inspired by Janji’s latest runventure. The pattern, including color and graphic, is high contrast. We used a lot of elements of texture and contrast within the line that echo this theme of Kenya as the Land of Contrast – a land that straddles the equator; a land that lies between one of the largest bodies fresh water as well as the Indian Ocean; and a land that features massive range climate and in topography from the coast to over 15,000 feet of mountain elevation.
After rounds of sketches and samples, we landed on two final GOCap designs – modern running caps with a late-80s/early-90s throwback feel inspired by a unique community in Kenya, and manifesting Janji’s ethos of Run For Another and our mantra of Everybody Run.