Tommy Hilfiger Frontier Challenge recognizes inclusive and innovative initiatives
For the second year running, Tommy Hilfiger's Amsterdam offices have hosted the awards ceremony for the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, the program through which the PVH Corp-owned brand seeks to support entrepreneurial initiatives that promote positive solutions for issues being faced by the fashion industry, as well as wider society.
"At Tommy Hilfiger, we’re committed to wasting nothing and welcoming all. From start to finish, I have been inspired by this talented group of social entrepreneurs whose innovations are making the fashion landscape more sustainable and inclusive," said Tommy Hilfiger himself when announcing the winners of this edition's prizes.
"This is just the beginning for these start-ups and we will continue to mentor and foster these entrepreneurs who are so committed to making a positive impact in our industry," he added, referencing this year's two prize-winning initiatives, which were chosen from more than 420 proposals: Apon Wellbeing and A Beautiful Mess.
Founded in Bangladesh, Apon Wellbing is a scale-up focused on facilitating access to food, health services and insurance in order to improve the quality of life of textile workers in the South Asian country, offering discounts and products in the factories themselves.
Denmark-based Beautiful Mess, on the other hand, promotes the creation of jobs in the textile industry for refugees, with the aim of helping them achieve social and economic independence. "It frustrated me to see the number of highly qualified refugees in my country" out of work, explained the project's founder Naz Kawan in an emotional speech. Kawan was also inspired by the experience of her mother as an Iranian refugee in the Netherlands.
These two innovative proposals received prizes of 75,000 euros, as well as the opportunity to be mentored by experts from Tommy Hilfiger and INSEAD for a year, and a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program. Sudara, a pyjama and leisurewear start-up which employs women and children that have escaped from sexual exploitation, won a prize of 10,000 euros as the proposal that received the most votes from the event's attendees.
"The winners of the second Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge represent the future of the fashion industry," commented Daniel Grieder, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger and PVH Europe. "As our industry continues to rapidly evolve, it is important to collaborate, both within and outside of the fashion landscape, and bring forward innovations that have the ability to transform our businesses for the better."
Both Grieder and Hilfiger were part of the event's jury, joining journalist Noor Tagouri, Tommy Hilfiger CFO Martijn Hagman, EVPA CEO Steven Serneels, managing director of Fashion for Good Katrin Ley, and Willemign Verloop, the founder of the Danish national platform for social entrepreneurship.
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