18 July 2021

We wear our values

"To make our world a better place." Meet with two opposite sides of the fashion industry chain who didn’t wait to make change.

To make our world a better place. These are the words on everyone’s lips right now, and for good reason !

We’ve been – and still are – facing an unprecedented crisis. Across the world, whether it is because of the COVID-19 or BLM movement, making change in our lives as never seems to be so important. And behind this desire stand values.

Fraternity. Sustainability. Equality. Freedom. Respect.

We want to reshape our world to our standards, and in this case, to our values. And if for many this journey starts today, we’d like to introduce you to some who didn’t wait to make change in their life.

From Paris to L.A (California), dive into the daily life of an influencer and a brand that chose long ago to wear their values in order to make the world a better place.

From their start to their struggles to their hopes, meet with two opposite sides of the fashion industry chain that come together around common values and a common goal.

Who are you ?

TC : My name is Tyler Chanel. I’m an ethical blogger and fashion model based in Los Angeles, California. My blog & Youtube Channel, Thrifts & Tangles, encourages others to give thrifting, sustainability, and their natural selves a chance through educational and relatable content.

HL : PANAFRICA is a brand of ethical and colourful sneakers. Our models are inspired by Africa and produced on the African continent. For this, we work with a network of partners, from the purchase of materials in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Burkina Faso, to the assembly in Morocco.

Concerned about our social and environmental impact, we strive to question ourselves to make tomorrow’s fashion more responsible.

Today it means using recycled materials, giving a second life to our products, and working with our partners according to a fair trade scheme. We put human beings back at the centre of our production, from partners to consumers. We communicate in a transparent way on our successes and challenges, but also on what we still have to build.

Why did you start your blog/brand ?

TC : I started Thrifts & Tangles in 2012 as a way to document my natural hair journey. Over the years, I realized I wanted to discuss more topics, so I started sharing photos of my thrifted and ethical outfits. More recently, I started showcasing my sustainable lifestyle journey and discussing why it is important to support ethical brands, like PANAFRICA, who are doing good in this world and creating a positive change in the fashion industry.

HL : PANAFRICA was created 5 years ago by three associates Hugues, Vulfran and Hélène. Each one had a very strong link to Africa: origins, professional career, travels… and this ambition to change their career to add more meaning to it.

Our main inspiration was from the colours and the fabrics we could see in West Africa. The idea was to highlight all the great know how and find a way to wear it everyday and to combine it with our love for shoes and sneakers particularly.

Also, we wanted our business to have a positive social and environmental impact. That’s how we created a brand that matches our values.

What are your values ?


TC :

Since Thrifts & Tangles is my personal brand, I made sure to incorporate my personal values into the company. These are my five values:

Sustainability – I aim to live a sustainable lifestyle and am conscious about how my actions and behaviors affect people and the planet. I am always learning how to become more sustainable and how to make simple lifestyle changes that will lower my carbon footprint.

Positivity – I always try to look at things in a positive light and spread that positivity to others. I find small acts of kindness to be the best way to spread positive vibes.

Diversity – Representation matters and hearing different perspectives from different people is so important. As a black woman, diversity is crucial to me.

Transparency – No one is perfect, which is why I really value transparency. It is okay to share our flaws and admit to our mistakes, especially on this sustainability journey.

Education – Knowledge is power. Being open to learning new things and changing our opinions is the key to growth.

HL: PANAFRICA’s values are the brand ‘s goals. Everything is thought, made or changed according to these values. Everything must fit with them.


The first one is to design shoes with a bold and optimistic style, different from what you can already see in the streets, and a lot of uniqueness.

The second one is to create a whole ecosystem to have a positive impact on human and environment. Therefore, we’ve decided to rethink the sneaker‘s value chain and to build our own model and scheme. Our inspirations are African, then our shoes have to be produced and developed on the African continent. For that, we work hand in hand with our partners in Morocco, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Ghana. With them, we place the human being at the heart of the PANAFRICA project.

How has the COVID-19 crisis affected you ?

TC : COVID-19 has made me slow down and appreciate the things I have in my life. Instead of focusing on buying material things (like I did in the past), I am now striving to make and build meaningful connections with myself and with others. Zoom calls with family, spending alone time gardening or journaling, and cooking meals with my fiancé are some things I have been recently enjoying.

My content has also changed drastically due to COVID-19. Before the pandemic I was posting content about fashion and shopping. After the pandemic, I realized that my usual content was no longer relevant since many people were out of work and following stay at home orders. I had to pivot to make my content relevant and relatable. I started to talk about things like how to have a Zoom Birthday Party and fun hobbies to start at home.

I felt comfortable shifting my content, but realized I had to shift again after the death of George Floyd. Black Lives Matters protests were happening across the world and the conversation about racism in America was the most important thing to discuss. I started sharing resources on the history of racism, organizations to donate to, and my personal experience with racism.

These two major events made me realize how important it is to be adaptable and pivot as an influencer. The content I normally talked about did not seem relevant at the time. COVID-19 and the BLM Protests made me get deeper with myself and with my audience.

HL : At the beginning we weren’t too concerned about the pandemic has it didn’t really affected the countries where our partners are located. We had just started a crowdfunding campaign that received a great success and, we can notice it now, helped us to maintain our activity. At the moment, we’re behind schedule on our production but our customers are very comprehensive and we should manage to catch it up, without of course pressuring our workshop.

Driven by our optimism, we have chosen to see this situation as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, to get closer to our partners and consumers, to take a step back.

The big challenge will be for next year as we work with retailers that are struggling this summer and they might not place new orders for the next season. We’re trying to anticipate this problem, and we’ve decided to review our strategy and to focus on our online sales via our website.

How are you facing tomorrow ?

TC : This pandemic has forced a lot of us to slow down and reevaluate our habits as consumers. which makes me look at tomorrow with a lot of optimism. We are becoming more aware about the impact our purchases have on people and the planet.

I am also hopeful for the future, because of the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred worldwide. Seeing the world stand up and speak out against racism made me feel like change is really possible.

HL : We look at tomorrow the same way we’ve always done, with optimism.

We aim to take part in change for a more sustainable fashion and that means being hopeful and challenge ourselves. Our latest model released is an example of what we do to fulfil that goal. Questioning ourselves and going further in order to stick to our values is key.

We plan to keep it that way no matter the difficulties. Our values drove us so far and they will keep driving us.

"We wear our values through our clothes and express these values through our actions. Wearing our values allows us to raise awareness on the things we care about, helps us stay true to ourselves, and reminds us to keep fighting for change."


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