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Tommy Hilfiger Celebrates a More Inclusive Fashion Landscape at Second Edition of Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge

Shannon Keith (Sudara), Lisa Flynn (Sudara), Katrin Ley, Yasir Arafat (Apon Wellbeing), Steven Serneels, Saif Rashid (Apon Wellbeing), Daniel Grieder, Tommy Hilfiger, Martijn Hagman, Naz Kawan (A Beautiful Mess), Fleur Bakker (A Beautiful Mess) and Noor Tagouri (Photo: Business Wire)

Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., announced Apon Wellbeing and A Beautiful Mess as winners of the 2019 Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge. More than 400 applications were received for the second edition of the global program, which aims to support entrepreneurial start-up and scale-up stage businesses developing solutions that promote inclusive and positive change in fashion.

“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. “I am proud to congratulate this year’s winners, Apon Wellbeing and A Beautiful Mess. 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.”

“The winners of the second Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge represent the future of the fashion industry,” said Daniel Grieder, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Global 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. Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists!”

Apon Wellbeing was awarded €75,000. The Bangladesh-based scale-up opens fair-priced shops carrying daily necessities inside factories, with products offered at a 10% discount to external prices and a points scheme that workers collect for free health insurance and health services.

“When you are upcoming in the fashion value chain, endorsement from a brand like TOMMY HILFIGER immeasurably helps start-ups and scale-ups grow and increase impact,” said Saif Rashid, Apon Wellbeing Founder and Managing Director. “But the most important thing is the strategic support and mentorship the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge offers. The support TOMMY HILFIGER has given has already shaped our business model, strategy, communication and how we think about the future.”

Dutch start-up, A Beautiful Mess, was also awarded €75,000. A Beautiful Mess runs a creative space to assist refugees in realizing social and economic independence by creating sustainable apparel products.

“We need big players in the fashion industry to scale-up circular production initiatives, and that’s exactly what the Tommy HilfigerFashion Frontier Challenge offers,” said Naz Kawan, A Beautiful Mess Makerspace Director. “A collaborative, integrated approach is necessary if we want to transform the fashion industry’s supply chain. With the support of this global program, we are working towards a more circular, transparent and inclusive fashion landscape.”

The winners also received a year-long mentorship with Tommy Hilfiger’s and INSEAD’s global experts, as well as a place in the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program (ISEP).

A third start-up, Sudara, was selected as the “Audience Favorite Vote” and was awarded €10,000. Based in India and the United States, Sudara is a scale-up pajama and loungewear company that develops professional and sewing skills in women who have escaped from or are at high risk of being sex trafficked.

“The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge is all about using fashion as a force for good, which directly speaks to our brand purpose,” said Shannon Keith, Sudara Inc. Founder and Chairwoman. “We’re particularly excited about winning the ‘Audience Favorite Vote,’ because it shows that what we’re doing really resonates with the teams at TOMMY HILFIGER, who are committed to making a difference in the fashion industry.”

Over a multi-step, multi-month process that began in May 2019, over 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. During the program’s Final Event, which took place at Tommy Hilfiger’s Campus of the Future in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on February 13, 2020, the six finalists pitched their concepts to a prestigious jury panel, including Mr. Tommy Hilfiger, Daniel Grieder, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe, Noor Tagouri, Journalist, Activist and Speaker, Martijn Hagman, CFO, Tommy Hilfiger Global & COO, 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.

Tommy Hilfiger’s vision is to create fashion that wastes nothing and welcomes all. Find out more about the brand’s long-term sustainability efforts, particularly in the areas of inclusivity and circularity here.

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