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The Oakland Running Festival (ORF) is a major event for Alameda Runners, and we love to put the spotlight on the event’s sponsors. One such sponsor is Greenlight Apparel, the company that made this year’s event shirts, and they have a fantastic story helping drive their business.

In addition to using greener materials in all clothing products, Greenlight also is interested in helping out in a very important effort. Not only does the company provide funds, but also sends company officials to make sure the money and collective manpower is being used as efficiently as possible.

“Our dedication to our mission and audience is a real factor,” Greenlight recently told Alameda Runners. “More and more companies are willingly — or through public pressure — becoming more socially responsible, but we’re really built around doing good. Organic and recycled fabrics aren’t just in some of our products. That’s all we use. And we don’t just write checks and make donations to good causes, we actively work hand-in-hand with humanitarian partners, and frequently travel into developing countries to work on the child labor and human trafficking causes we represent.”

It’s important for companies involved in the active community to have athletes in the office — it helps offer a more accurate insight into the inner workings of the athlete psyche.  Ask friends and family, and it seems that we’re a very special bunch … and that helps shape Greenlight.

“Likewise on the user end, we’re deeply entrenched in the athletic community. We’re runners and fitness enthusiasts ourselves, and have staff representing us at as many races and expos as we can. We maximize Facebook (page here), not just to self-promote, but to have that relationship with the running community and people wearing our shirts. It’s really a part of us. ”

In the future, fans can expect to see Greenlight continue to strive to make products even better for athletes and customers.

“Race tees are certainly our bread-and-butter. Our sales tend to go beyond ‘customers’ and into partnerships, so we’ve had some great race directors who will experiment with us. Our tees get better because we’ve had the luxury of being able to test different fabrics, stitching, seams, cuts and so forth. We’re producing socks, hats, jackets and windbreakers, and similar athletic gear now, and working with the same experimentation. This fall we’ll be launching a full line of retail gear for the individual athlete and casual wearer, and will have many more of these products available then.”

To wrap up our conversation, Greenlight Apparel wanted to invite you to visit their Facebook page (and offer up a ‘like’ if you wish). Alameda Runners has a second part of this story currently being written, with a focus on Greenlight’s humanitarian efforts in other countries.

*Ted’s note: I met with Greenlight at the Oakland running festival.  They have great products at reasonable prices and great people out representing the company.  My Greenlight shirt is one of the few race shirts that I actually wear.

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