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Meeting with the founder of the Danish company DOXA: John Hansen

Rencontre avec le fondateur de l’entreprise danoise DOXA :  John Hansen
DOXA is shaking up running fashion in all the right ways. Meeting with the inspiring founder of the Danish company who explains the values ​​it embodies.
John Hansen was born in rural Denmark where he began running at age 10. He quickly discovered a talent for it and won competitions in his age group. He joined a local athletic club at age 12 and trained hard. From the ages of 15 to 20, he competed under the banner of different Danish clubs, winning a number of medals on the national scene, but at the age of 21, he had to stop due to an incurable injury.
Three decades after his first country run, John lives in Copenhagen from where he runs DOXA, a running clothing company he founded and envisions as an innovative and ethical option to the clothing giants of sport.
John, with a business and kids, do you still run as much as you used to?
Basically, I run at least 3 times a week, and if the stars align favorably, 5 or 6 times. But as you say, with family and DOXA, it's sometimes difficult to find the time. I love running in nature, especially on gravel paths. As I live in the center of Copenhagen, I have to run quite far to reach these routes. So I run very early to make it possible with my busy schedule. Between 5 and 6 a.m., the city slowly wakes up. We meet few people, most of them taking a morning walk or walking their dog. People are often more polite and friendly at this time. We greet each other and wish each other a good day. This atmosphere puts me in a great mood.
Do you still compete?
Yes, but I'm more aiming for long distances, like half-marathons and marathons. These are distances for which I am still managing to improve my times, so it encourages me to continue.
Has running given you a particular perspective on life?
When you're a teenager, you're looking for yourself. You are in search of identity, of meaning, you wonder what could interest you in terms of work or studies. For me, in all this tumult of thoughts, running proved to be a safe space, on the fringes of these uncertainties. She gave me self-confidence and the strength to look to the future with optimism. I knew I was good at something. Maybe not the best. But I was good and I found pleasure in constantly becoming better.
As an adult, running has become many things. It's a refuge. It’s also a time when I put my thoughts in order. It's part of a general life discipline, for which I have to thank my mother who told me that if I didn't train, I wouldn't be able to participate in competitions. So for me, running is a bit of a mental workout. I'm quite alone in DOXA, I have to be very organized and in control. Running allows me to put my mind in place to be more efficient.
What is the philosophy behind the creation of DOXA?
A priori, there is none. I simply wanted to combine my passion for racing and my job in fashion. But hey, I still have some strong ideas that guide me.
I want DOXA to be the best option to established brand running clothing.
Every season, I do research to find the most interesting and innovative fabrics; I source from Italy most of the time, if not elsewhere in Europe.
I also believe in sustainable fashion: as a runner, I find it important that we can continue to breathe clean air, go to the forest and enjoy nature. Since I started, I have used fabrics that are partly made from recycled plastic bottles or fishing nets abandoned in the ocean. Now, 60% of my fabrics are partly made from recycled plastic. Since last year, I have also been producing t-shirts made from certified organic cotton.
It's also important to me that DOXA helps do something bigger than just making clothes. When I discovered the Kenswed Academy school, which allows young Kenyan runners to develop, I immediately adopted this project. Every year, the clothes that I don't sell are donated to them.
If I have only one DOXA piece to get to get started, which one do you suggest?
I would go with a running shirt. Without a doubt the Troy Tee: its design is classic, but athletic, it is made of recycled mesh that comes from Italy and is usually adorned with a graphic design that changes with the seasons.
Otherwise, what is your fondest racing memory?
Oh, there are so many! For sure, the ones where I won national championship medals are etched in my memory. But a marathon is so long, and the feelings you experience during this type of event are a different kind of experience... If I had to choose an event, I would say the marathon. Frankfurt, in 2015. I was in superb shape and I had just set my best time at the Copenhagen half. The goal was clear: also achieve my best marathon time. My girlfriend, who was pregnant, accompanied me. Everything went really well and I even managed to increase the speed in the last kilometer. The thing is that in Frankfurt, the arrival is unforgettable: you arrive in a large building, on a red carpet, with mirror balls on the ceiling and disco music playing loudly. My best time, this arrival, my pregnant girlfriend: it all combined to make it an unforgettable memory.
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This portrait of one of Faux Mouvement's suppliers is part of a series of reports intended to make you better aware of our partners, their vision and their products. By reading them, you will quickly understand why we chose them.