Fashion Forward Running Apparel to Create Jobs in Kenya

By Chris Markl, Founder, Kourage Athletics

Fashion Forward Running Apparel to Create Jobs in Kenya

Below is the press release for a non-profit called Kourage that I’ve built over the last 3-years. Back in 2008, I was a PhD candidate studying comparative political economy, specifically the economic and political effects of export-processing zones.

I always felt ‘fair trade’ companies got it wrong, that they are so westernized, focusing all operatings in rich countries and sourcing production to poor countries to factories to look good. All while missing the brillance that exists in countries they intend to help.

So I left my PhD program to try to create something different.

Im a runner so there seemed to be an opening to create Kenya’s first running apparel brand. At the time I had no real affiliation to Kenya, infact I’d never been to Africa at that point. All of my work focused on Latin America. To be very honest, the poverty I see in Kenya isnt unique, its the same poverty I saw living in San Pedro Sula Honduras, one of the HIV capital’s of Latin America.

Please know that I in no way claim to be any type of savor. This is one of my small gripes with Tom’s, Edun, or any other ethical clothing line – that there is such reliance on Americans or Europeans to ‘save’ Africa. We at Kourage arent trying to ‘save’ Kenya. We are trying to employ the talents of Kenyans so they can help themselves. This is what we are doing at Kourage, and I’m just the one with the time to write posts like this.

Everything you see in Kourage garments is created by Kenyans. From the designs, to the fit, to the fabric selection. I just try to get the word out where possible, coordinate with the entrepreneurs and Kenyan businesses we work with, and ship the garments to customers from my house in Florida. I am by far the least important person in Kourage.

These garments truly are kenyan. I hope that you will check out our sites, post about us on facebook and twitter. We are a small organization with very big dreams of taking on Nike, Adidas, Puma, etc. We in no way have the same resources as them, but we definitely have the heart. Its why we are called Kourage, each of us have put everything on the line to fight for what we believe in, for what we think is right. Because of these ideals, we are already a success.

Kourage Site and Store

Kourage Athletics Facebook

Kourage Athletics Twitter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Kenya’s First Running Apparel Brand
Nairobi, Kenya – Kenya has produced some of the greatest distance runners in the world. An emerging non-governmental organization has harnessed that storied tradition by creating a line of running apparel for athletes worldwide.
Kourage garments are designed and manufactured in Kenya to create the country’s only brand of running apparel.
Employing a modern fit, fashion-forward designs, and performance quick-dry fabric, each Kourage garment is suitable for completing a marathon or a quick workout at the gym.
“We combine the fit of your favorite t-shirt with the best performance fabric in the world,” says Joseph Kisuli, 23, Kourage Athletics fashion designer.
Kisuli continues, “Kenyan runners are world-class. We wanted to create an equally impressive garment.”
Hussein Kurji, Kenyan Operations remarks, “We tested Kourage garments under extreme conditions, in snow at Mt. Kenya and in the heat of the plains of Kenya. Kourage garments are perfect for any athletic endeavour.”
Kourage Athletics doesn’t just want to sell apparel, the organization seeks to change lives in Kenya. Revenue from each Kourage Athletics garment is injected into the Kenyan economy with the goal of creating jobs within the Kenya.
Chris Markl, 31, American Operations states, “From our garment’s fit and feel, to our organization’s commitment and ideals, Kourage makes you feel good.”
Why the name Kourage? Markl remarks, “Kourage is doing something outside of one’s comfort zone: going back to school, training for a 5k or a marathon, traveling outside of one’s country for the first time. Kourage is how we change the world.”
Kourage Athletics garments are for sale exclusively at kourage.org for $39 including free shipping within the United States.

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Chris – brilliant story and concept. Wish you the very best to realise those dreams.  Would love to learn more about how you produce.  pr***@ma*********.com Twitter @pramaprama or Prama Bhardwaj on LinkedIn

    Prama 

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