Through their leadership at JL, owners Joline and Ken have been able to align their two passions--performance and sustainability. Though only a small manufacturer, social and environmental issues are always considered foremost in the decisions. The dollar never overshadows human cost. Two great examples of this come in their recycled fabric line and their business portfolio.
It matters where fabrics come from.
Ken and Joline source as close to the factory as possible, choosing US-milled recycled fabrics when possible. When they do go overseas, they buy from companies that follow strict environmental and social standards.
Over the last two decades, JL has steadily been replacing their virgin polyesters with 50-80%
recycled fibers made by Uni, a global leader in sustainable textiles. Behind every mound of
post-consumer waste is a mountain of pre-consumer waste. (The waste created by manufacturers
when they make products for consumers.) Both are used to make Repreve® polyester offsetting
the need to use new crude oil.
|Joline enjoying the solar panels at the California factory|
On average, every pound of Repreve® yarn conserves the equivalent of half a gallon of gasoline. Additionally, an increasing percentage of JL's fabrics come from Bluesign® certified mills. BlueSign® facilities must prove that every step of their supply chain, and their own operation, are sustainable and non-polluting. The BlueSign® standard is based on five principles: resource productivity, consumer safety, air emission, water emission and occupational health and safety.
|LUC designed JLRacing gear|
As athletes seek to be the best they can be, JLRacing’s business is committed to do the same.
After all the mission/vision media-hype talk, it comes down to who crosses the finish line first,
right? This is the actual doing that is reflected in JL’s case as character, attitude, intention and
community. In this JL delievers with an 100% American made factory that even has solar
panels on their roof. All workers have fully paid health and dental insurance, retirement and
profit sharing benets. The employees repay JL's committment to them with consistant, quality
“Dedication with honesty and hard work--no shortcuts.” is stated on the JL website. As testament
to their continuum of seamless performance--quality is not compromised by doing
good. The gear continues to be at the cutting edge while aligning to corporate social responsibility.
In 2010 Joline and Ken meet with Ursula Grobler, and offered to help her make her
rowing sustainable. Joline made it clear that the gear be passed on to others from Ursula. “I
remember my first USA JL Uni passed on from Sarah Jones, how special I felt wearing it and
|Abby Broughton shown wearing the JL Uni given to Amina|
what it meant. I still have that uni!” Ursula says. In 2012 at the Holland Beker Ursula passed
on some JL gear with the signature neon yellow fabric to Amina Rouba from Algeria. For
Amina, being a female full time athlete in her country is tough. This gift created a bond on
many levels. It will be about what is given and what is given back — reflectively.