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Boxing Clever

The vegan glove manufacturer that's fighting for fairness

The vegan glove manufacturer that's fighting for fairness

Jan Lenarz has been boxing for more than a decade and he is passionate about his sport. But Jan is also vegan, and in order to find good quality boxing gloves that met his ethical standards, he had to take matters into his own hands.

“The idea for Vehement began last year”, explains Jan. “I needed new gloves, but as a vegan, leather was not an option.

“Boxing has to be fair and those who fight have a responsibility – not only to fight fairly against their opponent, but also against unjust suffering. It can not be a fair fight if the cost of the equipment is the suffering and exploitation of humans and animals.”

Jan Lenarz and Maria Gross, founders of Vehement

Jan Lenarz and Maria Gross, founders of Vehement

Round one

Jan searched for non-leather gloves, but the options were poor. So the award-winning designer from Berlin decided to develop his own and Battleskin – an extremely advanced sustainable, durable, vegan artificial leather – was born.

“But I couldn´t make just one pair,” says Jan, “I had to make 100, 99 too many for me. But then I thought – ‘if I need vegan gloves, why not others?’”

“Boxing has to be fair and those who fight have a responsibility – not only to fight fairly against their opponent, but also against unjust suffering.”

Jan Lenarz, Founder Vehement

Jan made 100 pairs and quickly set up an online shop, which he called Vehement, and without any advertising, he had sold out within 24 hours.

From that moment, orders grew exponentially and Jan and his team put in night shifts to meet the demand. A year on, and as well as selling Battleskin boxing gloves for men and women, Vehement also sells Battleskin shin guards, organic fair-trade t-shirts and 100% recycled water bottles.

But Jan is not going to stop there. The young entrepreneur has big plans to expand his offering further while staying true to his commitment to sustainability throughout the supply chain.

“Our products are extremely durable and of the highest quality. That’s what matters most to me as a fighter. The fact that they are sweatshop-free and vegan matters most to me as a human being.”

Jan Lenarz, Founder Vehement

“There are many vegans that are passionate about sport, so having ethically produced clothing and equipment is very important to a lot of people, yet there are very few sustainable alternatives out there.

“Of course we cannot do everything. That is why it would be nice if in the sports industry as a whole could make a change and start paying a lot more attention sustainability and fair production.”

Knock-out

Veherment’s vegan boxing gloves are currently made in Pakistan in compliance with the International labour Organisation. But Jan wants to take this a step further and plans to move production to the Netherlands where fair working conditions are easier to control; then he will look to gain Fairtrade certification.

“Our products are extremely durable and of the highest quality. That’s what matters most to me as a fighter. The fact that they are sweatshop-free and vegan matters most to me as a human being.”

vhmnt.com

Project CV
Vehement

Vehement was launched in 2013 by Jan Lenarz, an award winning designer and accomplished Thai boxer from Berlin. Jan, a vegan, needed a new pair of gloves, but could not find anything of high enough quality that met his ethical standards. So he created Battleskin – an extremely advanced sustainable, durable, vegan artificial leather. After a very successful year, Vehement is now expanding production to North America. Vehement banks with Triodos Bank’s German branch.

 
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