Now in its second year, the goal of the program is to support entrepreneurial start-up and scale-up businesses developing solutions that promote inclusive and positive change in fashion.
The six finalists will visit Hilfiger’s Campus of the Future in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Feb. 13 to pitch their business concepts to a jury of internal and external business and sustainability leaders.
The jurors overseeing the final event are Tommy Hilfiger; Ankiti Bose, cofounder and chief executive officer of Zilingo; Noor Tagouri, journalist, activist and speaker; Daniel Grieder, ceo, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; Martijn Hagman, chief financial officer of Tommy Hilfiger Global and chief operating officer of Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; Willemijn Verloop, founding partner, Social Impact Venture; Steven Serneels, ceo and board member, EVPA, and Katrin Ley, managing director, Fashion for Good.
“It is inspiring to see the second edition of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge draw so many applicants working towards a more inclusive and sustainable fashion landscape,” Hilfiger said. “We are committed to championing bright, innovative solutions to some of our industry’s big challenges, and I’m looking forward to returning as a jury member to recognize this year’s entrepreneurs. Their optimism and commitment to a positive future should inspire us all in the impact we can make together.”
Over a multistep four-month process, more than 420 applicants were narrowed down to six finalists who were invited to develop and refine their business plans with the support of a dedicated team of social entrepreneur experts at the Campus of the Future.
The six finalists are:
- Apon Wellbeing, a Bangladesh-based company that has fair-priced shops carrying daily necessities inside factories, with products offered at a 10 percent discount and a points program that workers collect for free health insurance and health services.
- Stony Creek Colors, which offers natural indigo sustainable crops to small and mid-size tobacco farmers who are at risk of losing their income due to falling tobacco sales.
- Dutch start-up, A Beautiful Mess, which runs a creative space to assist refugees in realizing social and economic independence by creating sustainable apparel products.
- Lab 141, a U.S.-based start-up, which creates small batches of made-to-fit clothing using 3-D printing.They are bringing to life the concept of “sizeless” fashion.
- Indian scale-up pajama company Sudara, which develops professional and sewing skills in women who have escaped from or at high risk of being sex trafficked.
- Scale-up company Constant & Zoé, which creates functional and fashionable clothing for men, women and children with disabilities.
The jury will award 150,000 euros, or $166,592 at current exchange, between two winners to fund the advancement of their business proposals. The winners will also receive a yearlong mentorship with Hilfiger’s and INSEAD’s global experts, as well as a place in the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program. An additional 10,000 euros, or $11,106 at current exchange, will be awarded to the finalist team who wins the “Audience Favorite Vote.”