Supporting socially minded fashion entrepreneurs from Amsterdam

Apparel brand Tommy Hilfiger has launched the third edition of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge. The global programme – which is being overseen from the label’s Amsterdam HQ – aims to find and support startups and scale-ups that are developing solutions to make a positive social impact in the fashion industry.

Since 2018, the challenge has awarded €350,000 to entrepreneurs and businesses that are committed to driving change. Striving to foster a more inclusive fashion industry, the challenge asks that entrants’ project proposals focus on creating a more inclusive fashion value chain. Tommy Hilfiger has urged entrepreneurs from the Black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) community to enter the competition, which is open until 8 March.

Competing for a €200,000 prize fund

Applicants will be narrowed down to six finalists who will be invited to develop their projects with the support of dedicated experts. With help from an experienced pitch coach, the finalists will then present their concepts to a jury panel at the global Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge in early 2022. A €200,000 prize fund will be divided amongst the winners. There will also be a chance to win an additional €15,000 prize for the audience favourite, a year-long mentorship with Tommy Hilfiger experts, a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme and a year-long INSEAD mentorship.

“The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge puts a spotlight on entrepreneurs putting their heart and soul into making a positive social impact in our industry,” said Tommy Hilfiger in a statement to the press. “This year, we want to showcase an even more diverse range of perspectives, ideas and communities by supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs. We have a responsibility to drive change across the fashion landscape, and I am honoured to further our commitment to inclusivity and equal representation through the upcoming Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge.”

Over the last few months, the Tommy Hilfiger brand has spearheaded several new sustainable initiatives from its headquarters in the Dutch capital. In late 2020, it launched a new circular programme, Tommy for Life, that allows people to have their used or damaged Tommy Hilfiger and Tommy Jeans garments repaired, ‘remixed’ or recycled. It is being ran in cooperation with Amsterdam's The Renewal Workshop. Both Tommy for Life and the Fashion Frontier Challenge are part of the brand’s new supply chain-wide sustainability scheme, Make it Possible, which aims to help the company achieve its goal of making apparel that ‘wastes nothing and welcomes all’ by 2030.

Amsterdam as sustainable fashion hub

The Dutch capital is home to a diverse and growing sustainable style scene. The digital fashion sector, which includes players like The Fabricant and Lalaland, has been making waves by offering virtual clothing that prevents the need for wasteful samples and returns. Many brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, are embracing this technology as they pursue sustainability goals. Fashion education in the city also has an eco-centric focus. Students at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute follow a curriculum that emphasises sustainability while Fashion for Good runs an accelerator programme for entrepreneurs focused on making the sector greener. 

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