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Keep up with the latest happenings at Cause I Run

Embracing the Slow

Today is Small Business Saturday. Last year, I predicted that by today, we'd have the online store up and running after a completed Kickstarter campaign. Only half of this is true (and we are so grateful to our Kickstarter backers!) but it's tough not being launched in time to sell our activewear on this day that's dedicated to small businesses like ours. (Though we do have some of our limited-edition duffel bags available at a discount!) 

Frustrated with the seemingly endless back-and-forth between my suppliers, patternmaker, and manufacturer, I lamented on the phone recently with my patternmaker after he mentioned I hadn't noticed a change that had been made. I told him, "Maybe I should take a design class to try to understand this better."

He cut me off:

"There's no class that will teach you this, Amanda. It can only be learned over time." 

I sighed. He was right. As tough as it is (and as easy as it is to see thousands upon thousands of brand new styles come out literally every day from companies that produce quickly and cheaply overseas), that's the truth about learning to manufacture clothing here in Massachusetts. It simply takes time (kind of like becoming a runner, am I right?).

There's fabric, soft elastic, thread, size tags, heat transfers, binding, and the right size bra cups to acquire. There's spec sheets, patterns, production markers, purchase orders, size runs, and send-outs. There is a process in place that, once disrupted for the smallest change, needs to be started all over again to ensure no mistakes are made during product construction.

I'm not telling you this to have a pity party, or to make excuses. We take full responsibility for the delays, and promise to learn from this experience. The reason I'm telling you this is because so few people know exactly what goes into the creation of the products we wear. So few people are even able to buy products made in America, with little availability of products that support their local artists and makers. For many of us who do produce locally, it just happens to be a slower process. It's a process that ensures the highest quality and fewest mistakes. I'm learning to be patient, and accept that just because something can't be done quickly, that doesn't mean it's not worth doing – in fact, it is sometimes the opposite: attention to detail is perhaps a good precedent to set. I look forward to showing you the fruits of this months-long effort, and we've already taken steps to ensure the next round of our gear is produced as efficiently as possible. And even doing that, we know that it will still be slower than what you could order online from Macy's or find at H&M. 

Sometimes shopping small means shopping slow. Slow fashion, made in America, is something we are proud to be a part of. And we hope that next year we can offer you a Small Business Saturday discount – until then, join us in getting out there and supporting local small businesses today.

P.S. As of right now, we're anticipating all Kickstarter preorders will still ship before the end of the year. Thank you for your patience! We hope you have a wonderful start to the holiday season. If you didn't get a duffel or sticker pack during the Kickstarter campaign, we have a limited supply up for grabs right now at a steep discount!

Meet Intern Anna!

It's an exciting time here at Cause I Run, where we're on the cusp of sending out our pre-orders, stocking our inventory, and officially launching as a bonafide ecommerce brand! 

And as we move forward with both production and gearing up for a launch, we are delighted to have hired a communications intern who will help us get the word out! She'll help us with social media, blogging, outreach, and more. You can say "hi" at info@causeirun.com. 

Without further ado, meet Anna G.!

Anna G. - 22 years old - Avocado Enthusiast - Family Fanatic - Workout Junkie

Absolutely thrilled to be a new member of the Cause I Run team! I am a proud Suffolk graduate with a degree in Communications and a concentration in public relations, a short-lived women's tennis ram and three-year Her Campus ambassador. Currently I am working full time for The Hamilton Company as a property coordinator.

Cause I Run is the perfect opportunity to invest some spare time into something I am truly passionate about. Always on the look out for a great work out, I never take good athletic apparel for granted. Happiest when surrounded by family and friends, you can catch me at HayMarket every Saturday & exploring my favorite city, or catching up with my favorite Housewives on Sunday. 

Welcome to the team, Anna! 

And a big shout out to the many qualified applicants who applied for this role. I'm excited that we'll be developing a guest blog series in the coming months to share some of their ideas and perspectives, so stay tuned!

And if you're not yet on our email list, make sure to sign up today! We send emails infrequently – just the important stuff! 

Making Clothing in America is a Marathon

You may have read our end-of-summer update about an issue we ran into with our elastic used in our sports bra. If you haven't read it, take a gander here.

Labor Day was our goal for having everything shipped, but since running into that issue, we had to put a hold on things since our production partner prefers to make all three pieces at the same time. 

We're happy to report that we have resolved the issue (our replacement is SO COMFY) and are now fully ready to move into production. We've heard that although the Kickstarter form is supposed to allow for a change in interest, some of you are having issues with it. If you've moved and have an updated shipping address, please send an email to info@causeirun.com by 10/20/16! 

We can't wait to ship out pre-orders and launch our official webstore!

While you wait these last few weeks, check out our first mockup for the first piece from round 2, a long-sleeve running shirt. Wearing this top, you'll be able to run in the winter, wear and check your GPS watch, *and* stay warm! 

Thanks again for your patience! 

Monthly Update: July

We hope your July has been full of fun and relaxation! It's hard to believe this month is already over. It's been a busy one around here: Everything we need for production is now at our facility, and this week, we are completing our final sample testing before production starts! We're so excited that we're getting closer to sending out preorders. 

Fabric Update

Last month, we let you know that we were working on receiving our tank top fabric (the "ice blue" recycled polyester). Unfortunately, due to an issue between the fabric mill and our supplier, we needed to replace it with a new fabric. Luckily, we had some backup options on hand and were able to quickly secure a replacement!

The not-so-good news:

  • While we're confident in this new fabric, it does mean that we are now a bit delayed, meaning our new projected delivery date for preorders is mid-September. 
  • The new fabric is 50% recycled polyester, 50% polyester. We are disappointed we can't offer a replacement that's 100% recycled, but we knew we couldn't sacrifice quality – and we knew this fabric would live up to our standards. We'll continue to seek out the best sustainable fabrics in the future. 

The good news:

  • This new fabric is similar to the old fabric: high quality, wicking, and ready for performance. And, it has a bit of stretch, is breathable and extremely comfortable. We're fully confident that it will hold up for the long run. 
  • And the best part: It will now match Cause I Run mint green!

We are incredibly sorry about this delay. But we really love this new fabric, and think you will too!

Here's a mockup of the new color:

Our racerback tank will now match Cause I Run green!

Our racerback tank will now match Cause I Run green!

 To see more photos and view the new fabric up close, head over to our Instagram. 

And as always, feel free to tell us what you think at http://www.causeirun.com/contact

As production begins, we'll start providing more frequent updates so you know exactly when preorders will ship (and when we'll officially launch our online store). We're so excited to be heading into this phase! 

 

June Update: Presales reopened + Stickers and duffels shipping soon!

A lot has happened in the month since we finished up the campaign (can you believe it's been a month already?) and I want to first take a moment to say thank you, again, to everyone who chipped in with a pledge or by sharing the campaign. At the end of each month, I'll provide an update on where we're at with production, so you can stay informed about when your preorders are on their way to you. Speaking of preorders... 

Presales are open again!

That's right – we've decided to reopen presales, which are live now here on causeirun.com. If you know people who missed out on the Kickstarter campaign but want to put in an order, spread the word! We have 30 more full 3-piece sets to offer for a $10 off discount until our official webstore launches this fall. 

http://www.causeirun.com/shop/

http://www.causeirun.com/shop/

Production Update 

We've ordered fabric for 2/3 of our clothing pieces (calf-length running leggings and low-impact sports bra), and are hard at work securing the fabric for our racerback tank. It's a popular fabric, and as of now, we're anticipating only a small delay, meaning we still expect that all items will ship in late summer or early fall. If anything changes, we'll post an update to our Kickstarter page as well as send out an email. 

I Ran a Marathon in a Cause I Run Racerback Tank

And lived to tell the story! Our recycled polyester tank kept me comfortable and stylish through 26.2 last weekend. (Photo taken at Mile 26, courtesy Ashley Balma.) Two (tired) thumbs up for sustainable activewear.

And finally: Backers, remember to fill out your survey! 

If you chose a reward that includes a duffel ($44 level) or a sticker pack ($25 level), we need your response ASAP(The message was sent from Kickstarter, and went to the inbox with which you created your Kickstarter account.) Sticker packs and duffels will be shipping this week!

Questions about the survey, sizing, or otherwise? Contact us and we'll be happy to answer them. 

Join our email list for exclusive offers and updates. 

Product Preview + Help us Finish Strong!

Our Kickstarter campaign is about to end, and with just a couple of days to go, I want to thank everyone who has made a pledge to make this line come to life!

I can't wait to get to work creating our first round of designs: Our 3-piece set is all about versatility: The pieces can be worn in three seasons, and they're excellent staples to have around when you want to throw something on and head out the door. 

As a runner, I spent a lot of time on these first designs – but I'm also excited to show you a little preview of what's coming down the road! 

SKETCH 1: Long-sleeve running top

This long-sleeve top will have a closable flap on the wrist for your GPS watch. Wear your watch normally against your skin and close the flap to run. Easily open and close the flap to check your progress while on the run!

Gone are the days of pulling your sleeve up and down over your watch to check your pace during a cold run. Many watches, including my own (I run with a Forerunner 225) come with a built-in heart rate monitor. Which is great, except it can't be used if you put your watch on over clothing.

SKETCH 2: Full length running tights

These full-length tights are similar to our calf-length tights, but with a little more "give." They'll be suitable for cooler weather and flexible enough for yoga!

These are just the rough designs – the next step will be to meet with our technical designer to make these sketches come to life. 

Please consider making a pledge right now (or adding on to your pledge) to help us with a strong launch! 

Introducing charity partner Hope Through Health!

Healthcare is a human right. Everyone deserves access to health services, no matter their circumstances. And when all people have access to it, communities can thrive. 

As you probably know by now, Cause I Run will fund a variety of causes by automatically donating 10% of each purchase to a worthy charity. Our first cause is helping women + girls around the world and here at home, because we believe that when an entire community is able to succeed, it benefits everyone.

One Cause, Three Charities

To start, we're making an impact in one focus area partially because we're also starting solely with a women's line – but also because it's what I've been most passionate about throughout my life. And though I was able to narrow in on one cause area, I want Cause I Run customers to be able to choose where they make an impact – to answer the question "what moves you"? 

Down the road, we'll develop a process to decide which causes (and which charities that fit into those causes) will be funded for the subsequent clothing collections (stay tuned for a post coming VERY soon about our next designs – you won't want to miss these)! 

But as with all projects, we needed a solid place to start. 

I love the rise of social enterprise. As runners and active people, we typically will need to buy apparel throughout our lives. And with the anticipation of purchasing running clothes for years to come, we believe there should be the option to do some good with those purchases, just like TOMS shoes and Warby Parker and others do in those spaces. 

The "one-for-one" model that many of these social enterprises employ, however, may not always be the way to do the most good. For some communities, it may be the most effective way to make an impact. But for others, the people may not need whatever product is being delivered. Can you imagine being given a t-shirt if what you really need is access to clean water? 

That's why it is so important for us to partner with organizations like Hope Through Health.

Hope Through Health provides healthcare services to communities in Togo, a country in West Africa near Ghana and Nigeria. According to Hope Through Health, 5 million people in the country lack access to adequate healthcare services. Founded in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 2004, Hope Through Health now provides a range of healthcare services driven by communities' specific needs. 

From prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV to broad maternal and child health services, Hope Through Health empowers communities by bringing them into the conversation, listening to their needs, and responding to patient priorities. Employing women as community health workers in their own communities is just one way that Hope Through Health improves health and drives sustained change.

Cause I Run believes in sustainability two ways: In our production, and in our giving (read more about that here). Sustainability is a core value, so HTH's model of making change that lasts – it's a perfect fit. 

We are SO excited about this partnership (shout-out to Globe Med at MIT for the connection), and we look forward to sharing stories about the impact you're helping to make for people in Togo when you choose to give to Hope Through Health.

We can't wait to make our miles count by supporting Hope Through Health and women and children in Togo through Cause I Run apparel!  

Learn more about Hope Through Health here. We'll be featuring our other two charities here on the blog in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Right now, Cause I Run apparel is available for preorder on Kickstarter. (All pledges, however, will go toward the cost of production and will not be given to charity, per Kickstarter rules.) If the campaign is successful, we'll open our ecommerce web store and all apparel sold there will include a 10% built-in charitable donation. 

 

Photo Shoot!

Recently, we had the opportunity to have professional photos taken of our first collection with Newport, RI, based photographer Jon Cameron. It was a chilly, but sunny New England spring day, and Jon captured some amazing shots of our active wear - in action! Check out his work on Instagram and Facebook.

Here's a few highlights from the shoot! 

Promo for our upcoming Boston Kickstarter Launch Party (if you're in the area, check out the details here!):

Photos courtesy Jon Cameron Photography.

Photos courtesy Jon Cameron Photography.

BIG THANKS to Jon Cameron for sharing his expertise with us!