Our Origin Story

  • Meet Jen

    Meet Jen

    Created and led by women.

    Hi, I'm Jennifer Leonard, the founder of Raw Threads. My journey started as a new runner at race expos. I struggled to find shirts that have a fun graphic message and a flattering silhouette for women. Everything was in a men's style shirt. I couldn't believe how saturated the industry is with only low-quality polyester options.

    I couldn't believe how ugly and uncomfortable the designs were. I decided to find a better solution. I wanted high quality soft fabrics with a flattering fit made for all body shapes and sizes plus I wanted to only use ethical manufacturing and a low-waste business model.

    Women supporting women.

    We've expanded our network to include female-owned fabric companies and sewing factories that also prioritize a sustainable initiative. Our plant-based fabric partners use every bit of our fabrics, and what they cannot turn into a garment they repurpose.

  • How it started.

    How it started.

    It all started with a van and a dream.

    I started Raw Threads in March of 2010 with the goal of expressing my creativity through t-shirts. What all started from driving cross-country from event to event has turned into the most amazing community a business owner could ever dream of. 

    When I started Raw Threads my office view was a windshield; my husband quit his job and drove me across the country with a van full of shirts to live my dream. I had to email customers and design new shirts on a laptop track pad while sitting in the passenger seat navigating with an Atlas before roaming on a cell phone was more affordable.

    We were on a mission to show the world my designs. We sold our house and put all of our belongings into storage while we drove state to state, expo to expo, marathon to marathon across the United States, even to Alaska in our white cargo van.

  • The designs.

    The designs.

    Express yourself.

    You wouldn’t guess that most of my professional design career I was a shy and behind-the-scenes designer. But Raw Threads has given me the courage to express what I'm feeling without speaking. Each morning I go into my closet and decide which mood I'm in that day and pick a Raw Threads shirt to coincide. It's the most powerful feeling to have a shirt completely change how you're feeling and empower you to get through the day’s challenges or celebrations. I love seeing our customers go through the same experience and seeing which designs they chose to wear that day.

    It’s all about the designs. Designs are what built our business. It is our most frequently asked question since we started our business. ‘When will the next design be announced?’

    Outfit repeating is a good thing.

    I try to design our silhouettes to work for both fitness and casual wear. That way you can get multiple uses out of your shirt! I believe in cherishing the inherent value of each and every garment. Each one is carefully packaged in sustainable packaging and sent off to its new owner. 

  • Our future

    Our future

    Sustainable vision.

    Raw Threads will continue to uphold the highest standard of quality while aligning  with great partners that uphold a sustainable vision.

    Let's slow down fashion

    We offer made-to-order products to keep our commitment of providing quality over quantity. Sustainability was my priority from the beginning. We believe in providing a responsible product so we print our graphics made-to-order with our eco-friendly water-based inks. I've worked hard to find partners that can prioritize sustainability in every way that they can.

    Let's keep improving

    I am always looking to expand our knowledge of innovative technology and materials, including our own production practices and we're always actively improving. 

I'm inspired and grateful to be a part of the running community that has embraced Raw Threads and my designs since 2010. We're so lucky to have the most genuine and kind-hearted fans continue to support us. - Thank you, Jen

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© 2023

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