Launched in 2018, the Challenge is an annual programme established to seek out and accelerate the work of the world’s most innovative and impactful fashion startups. Building on Tommy Hilfiger’s sustainability vision to Waste Nothing and Welcome All, this year’s program strives to amplify and support Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) entrepreneurs who are working to advance their communities and foster a more inclusive future of fashion.
Over a multi-stage process, applicants have been narrowed down to six finalists who were invited to develop their projects virtually with the support of Tommy Hilfiger and external subject-specific experts. The finalists will present their concepts at the global Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge final event which will be held in January 2022.
The six finalists for the third edition of the programme are: Clothes to Good, a textile recycling and disability empowerment organisation based in South Africa; Haelixa, a product traceability technology based in Switzerland targeting challenges related to proof of product origin, authenticity and sustainability claims, and also a member of Global Fashion Agenda’s Innovation Forum; MAFI MAFI, an Ethiopian based sustainable fashion brand, acclaimed for its preservation of ancient Ethiopian traditions and its empowerment of marginalised artisan weavers; Lalaland, a platform generating customised and inclusive fashion models for e-commerce brands based in the Netherlands; SOKO, a women-led, Kenya-based, people-first ethical jewellery brand and tech-powered manufacturing platform built to connect marginalised artisans in Kenya with the global market, and UZURI K&Y, a sustainable shoe brand utilising recycled car tyres from sub-Saharan Africa, based in Rwanda and employing local youth.
Winners are offered mentoring and financial support to expedite their progress in transforming the industry. A prestigious jury panel – including Mr. Tommy Hilfiger – will select two winners to split the prize fund of €200,000. An additional €15,000 will be awarded to the finalist who wins the “Audience Favorite Vote.” Plus, the winners will receive a year-long mentorship with Tommy Hilfiger and INSEAD experts, as well as a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program (ISEP).
The jurors this year are: Tommy Hilfiger; Martijn Hagman, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Global & PVH Europe; Yara Shahidi, award-winning Actress, Producer & Change Agent; Esther Verburg, Executive Vice President, Sustainable Business and Innovation, Tommy Hilfiger Global & PVH Europe; Adrian Johnson, Entrepreneur, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Technology and Media, INSEAD; Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Fashion for Good & Founding Curator, Amsterdam Global Shapers Hub, and Yvonne Bajela, Founding Member & Principal, Impact X Capital.
Past winners include Selina Wamucii, a mobile platform connecting smallholder farmers in Africa to global distributors; doctHERs, which digitally connects Pakistan’s female doctors with the factory workers who need them; and Auf Augenhoehe, a fashion label developing styles for people affected by dwarfism. Winners of the second edition include Apon Wellbeing, a Bangladesh scale-up that improves the life of factory workers through affordable health insurance; A Beautiful Mess, a Dutch makers space that assists refugees to realise social and economic independence; and SUDARA an India- United States scale-up that produces pyjamas and loungewear meanwhile developing professional skills in women who have escaped or are at high risk of being sex trafficked.
Read more about the Challenge here.
Tommy Hilfiger is part of PVH Corp. – one of Global Fashion Agenda’s Strategic Partners. Find out more about our partners HERE.