Fashion

PANAFRICA SHOES: the solidary sneakers inspired by African textiles

6 months ago • by Anaïs Sánchez
PANAFRICA SHOES: the solidary sneakers inspired by African textiles
Anaïs Sánchez
Written by Anaïs Sánchez

PANAFRICA is a brand of ethical sneakers inspired by traditional African fabrics and founded by Hugues and Vulfran in 2015.

For his first job, Hugues worked in Senegal, Congo and Ivory Coast for an African start-up that allowed him to discover African women dresses. With a few traditional African fabrics bought in Ivory Coast, Hugues came back to France and showed them to Vulfran, his childhood friend. These brilliant fabrics inspired Vulfran who immediately imagined a few pair of sneakers combining them. A few months later, both founders launch PANAFRICA, the solidary brand of sneakers in wax.

Wax printed textiles are an African product, but there are only three big producers left on the continent (in Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria), as most smaller factories have stopped producing in Africa and moved to China. Panafrica, meanwhile, uses textiles of African origin, before having the unisex styles assembled by old-school craftsmen in Morocco, proposing a product 100 percent made in Africa.

More than 45 percent of world’s non-schooled children live in Africa, i.e. 40 million children, and the cause is often the lack of proper schooling material as families struggle with poverty. Despite schools being free, numerous households cannot afford to provide school suppliers to their children. The capacity for these children to study and thrive at school is lessened. That is the reason why PANAFRICA participates in the #WalkForSchool program in partnership with the NGO « Espoir d'Afrique » and the group of schools of Ifangni in South East Benin. For every pair you buy, a kid is fully equipped with school supplies including: a school bag, a notebook, a pencil, a ball pen, an eraser, pencil sharpener, a ruler, a blackboard and a chalk. Participating in this program, PANAFRICA contributes to ameliorate this situation.

Not convinced yet? Take a look at their website (www.panafrica-store.com) and find your happiness!

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