Panafrica Manifest

How it all started

With PANAFRICA, explore the world in a different way... with sneakers made differently.

PANAFRICA, is a state of mind. Our ambition: Make sneakers differently, by respecting those who make them and by taking into account social, economic and environmental impacts of our actions. We commit ourselves to build a virtuous and sustainable project from the purchase of raw materials to the final assembly of sneakers.

PANAFRICA, is a style. Each season, the design of our sneakers is inspired from our captivating trips to Africa. Each pair of PANAFRICA reflects amazing landscapes and warm smiles we meet on the way. With PANAFRICA on your feet, you will travel the world with optimism and assert you style with elegance.

PANAFRICA, is an incredible adventure that we built day after day with our talented team, our partners that trust in us, and our loyal clients.

Welcome on board !

PURCHASING THE FABRIC

Wax fabric

Our wax suppliers are mostly in Ivory Coast. Our wish is to develop close relationships with our partners.

The wax market in Africa today is completely chaotic due to the arrival of Chinese wax, of inferior quality and two or three times cheaper than a wax fabric produced in Africa (a Chinese wax costs on average 9 euros; a wax printed in the Ivory Coast sells between 20-30€).

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana or the Ivory Coast many factories have closed down as they are unable to resist such competition.

Partnership with Uniwax – a wax printing factory in the Ivory Coast.

In order to favour the traditional treatment of the fabric and to contribute, albeit modestly, to maintaining the wax industry in West Africa, we have entered into partnership with Uniwax in the Ivory Coast.

This partnership enables PANAFRICA to buy high-grade fabric locally. Uniwax is part of Vlisco group which includes 4 others brands :

  • Vlisco made in Helmond, Holland
  • Uniwax made in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  • GTP made in Tema, Ghana
  • Woodin made in Ivory Coast and Ghana

Fabric woven in Burkina Faso

Afrika Tiss was created in 2013 in response to a lack of local processing chain of cotton (Burkina Faso is the second cotton producer in Africa but, local transformation represents only 2%). Afrika Tiss opened a weaving center in Ouagadougou in order to strengthen the textile handmade sector by offering new opportunities to disadvantaged craftswomen.

Women involved in the project are trained in painting and weaving techniques that improve their skills and the quality of hessian.

PANAFRICA has built strong partnership with Africa Tiss. We buy a part of their production according to fair trade principle :

  • Orders are placed more than 6 months before starting PANAFRICA sneakers manufacture. This offer high visibility to weavers and the possibility to anticipate their needs.
  • We buy our canvas three times more expensive (16 euros per linear meter) than a canvas bought on conventional market (On average 5 euros per linear meter), which offer a fair income to weaver. Then, they can live in dignity from their work.
  • We take into account weavers’skills by working together on the design of brand-new products or colours.
  • Afrika Tiss weaving center worries about their environment impact, so they use natural paint.

In 2017, PANAFRICA bought more than 1500 meters of handmade linen from Afrika Tiss.

The Workshop

Our sneakers are made in Morocco, near Casablanca, in a workshop which respects the workers’ rights.

No-one loses out

In order to support the development of the workshop and to guarantee long-term employment PANAFRICA is committed to producing one collection over six months. This enables us to avoid the pitfalls of mass production over short periods and ensures every worker: on-the-job training specific to the PANAFRICA chain of production, improved working conditions (transparency and lasting contracts), a workload spaced out over a longer period of time.

  • A different way of working
  • Respecting workers’ rights and conditions

A different way of working

From the very beginning we have always endeavoured to be proud of what we make. Over the years our suppliers have become genuine partners with whom we are constructing a sustainable project. Every month we visit the factory to check that everything is going ahead as it should be concerning quality and within our ethical framework.

Respecting workers’ rights and conditions

The workshop has been certified by an outside organisation and respects the rules of the ILO (International Labour Organisation) guaranteeing a code of social responsibility and ensuring that PANAFRICA sneakers are manufactured in compliance with workers’ rights. Every employee enjoys:
- A work contract and a guaranteed minimum wage
- Paid holidays (3 weeks a year)
- Health cover
- Regular job training and high quality management.

The #walkforschool Programme

Thanks to your purchases PANAFRICA supports projects for access to education and job training in Africa. For each pair of sneakers you buy, PANAFRICA donates 10% of its profit to various associations.

We pay particular attention to our partnerships. We choose our partners using the following criteria:

  • GRASS ROOTS KNOWLEDGE
  • GLOBAL ACTION
  • LASTING PARTNERSHIP
Read more about this Programme

GRASS ROOTS KNOWLEDGE

Our partners fully understand the local situation and are thus able to answer the population’s needs in material and equipment. They also help to choose the schools, organise the training centres and monitor pupils’ progress.

GLOBAL ACTION

Apart from the project with PANAFRICA our partners are involved in global actions for children and young adults : schooling, job training, health care, etc.

LASTING PARTNERSHIP

Our aim is to act over the long term through durable partnerships in order to help communities throughout the year and for as long as necessary.

The Challenges ahead

PANAFRICA is a project with a global dimension, a project for the future. Like all projects, it needs time.

PANAFRICA is trying to construct a fair and sustainable project.
Our ambition is to push further ahead without being afraid to question our choices and actions. There are many challenges ahead.

Here are some of the main ones:

  • Our environmental footprint: how can we reduce it?
  • Cotton: moving towards local fair trade purchase.
  • Leather: limiting its use
  • The Walk for School programme: our contribution…
prochain defis
prochain defis

Our environmental footprint: how can we reduce it?

We seek to favour short commercial channels so as to have a lesser impact on the environment. That is why our main supplies of raw material come from Africa. Nevertheless, the wax fabric bought in West Africa is systematically sent to France to be reinforced before being sent to our factory in Morocco. For the present, our factory isn’t equipped to handle this stage of production. We are working on ways of improving our logistics.

Cotton: moving towards local fair trade purchase.

The cotton cloth used for PANAFRICA models comes in part from Spain or France. Our wish in the short term is to buy the cotton from the producer countries in West Africa (mainly Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast) to favour a fair trade exchange with small producers and to control our supply chain.

This remains a real challenge: we must solve problems of transport inside Africa; we must look at ways of protecting our material; we must make sure we are dealing with trustworthy suppliers.

Leather: limiting its use

We use leather for certain PANAFRICA models. We are aware of the environmental impact (linked mainly to the use of chemical dyes) and of the ethical problems that causes. We use a low chrome tanned leather. We are also looking at ways of moving away from animal hides to more vegan-friendly materials.

The Walk for School programme: our contribution…

The Walk for School programme has a strong social impact in the countries where PANAFRICA is active. However, the problems linked to education and job-training are further-reaching: the difficulty of access to the job-training centres, pupils who drop out, the lack of infrastructures and qualified teachers. Our programme is not an end in itself. It is a means of strengthening collective actions which are already underway.