Tommy Hilfiger has announced the five finalists of the 2022 Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, who were carefully selected out of 259 applicants from global startups to scaleups. Expanding on the brand’s sustainability vision to “Waste Nothing and Welcome All,” the program’s fourth edition aims to amplify historically marginalized entrepreneurs, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), individuals living with a disability, and women, who are all striving to advance their communities by building a more inclusive fashion industry.
Over a multi-step, year-long process, applications were thoroughly reviewed by internal and external experts based on a dedicated set of criteria, including potential social impact and market growth. Last month, the five finalists completed design sprints with experts from the Tommy Hilfiger global headquarters in Amsterdam. During this step, each finalist presented their most pressing business challenge and collaborated with experts to develop practical solutions over the course of a week. In the program’s final phase, the five finalists will pitch their business concepts to a jury panel consisting of business and sustainability leaders, including Mr. Tommy Hilfiger and activist Halima Aden, at the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge finale on February 9, 2023.
“As we move into the fourth edition of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, we know that there is still more work to be done to achieve diverse representation and inclusion in fashion,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “When we come together in collaboration, we spark an important catalyst for change – and only together can we foster this long-lasting impact. We’re committed to using our platform to give emerging talent a voice so the industry as a whole can evolve how we think, build and create.”
The five finalists are:
- CARE+WEAR: An innovative healthwear company based in New York that bridges the gap between fashion and function by creating adaptive and accessible clothing, recovery bras, patient gowns, scrubs and more to help every person feel more human while in the hospital.
- IDA Sports: A British company designing footwear and soccer cleats specifically for female athletes to enhance their performance, comfort and safety.
- Koalaa: A British initiative engineering comfortable, affordable, soft upper limb prosthetics made like clothes for people of all ages, while offering a community of peer-to-peer support.
- Tactus: A Dutch-American tech brand developing and producing smart clothing that translates music into vibrations for the Deaf community, making music more inclusive to those with hearing difficulties.
- Moner Bondhu: A startup founded in Bangladesh that provides accessible and affordable mental health and wellbeing services through professional counselling, workshops and training to all, especially garment factory workers, women and youth.
The jurors overseeing the final event are:
- Mr. Tommy Hilfiger, Principal Designer
- Martijn Hagman, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe
- Halima Aden, Former Model and Activist
- Esther Verburg, EVP, Sustainable Business and Innovation, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe
- Adrian Johnson, Media Entrepreneur, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD
- Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Fashion for Good
- Yvonne Bajela, Investment Partner and Board Member
A €200,000 award will be divided between the top two winners to support their ventures, as well as receiving a year-long mentorship opportunity with Tommy Hilfiger and INSEAD experts, and a place in an INSEAD course. An additional €15,000 will be awarded to the finalist who Tommy Hilfiger associates vote as their ‘Audience Favorite.’
“Supporting and working with communities that drive positive change and innovation within the fashion industry remains one of our top priorities,” said Martijn Hagman, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe. “Driving change is part of our brand DNA. With every new edition, the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge reaffirms our commitment to amplifying the work of incredible entrepreneurs who can play a critical role in our journey towards creating a better fashion industry.”
Tommy Hilfiger’s mission is to become a leading sustainable designer lifestyle company that “Wastes Nothing and Welcomes All,” through how it creates its product, manages its operations and connects with its communities and stakeholders. More information about Tommy Hilfiger’s sustainability journey, which is powered by PVH’s Forward Fashion strategy, can be found on https://global.tommy.com/en_int/about-us-corporate-sustainability.