TOMMY HILFIGER is pleased to announce Koalaa and Moner Bondhu as winners of the fourth Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, a global program designed to amplify historically marginalized entrepreneurs, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), individuals living with a disability and women. On a mission to advance their communities by building a more inclusive fashion industry, the winners of the challenge build on TOMMY HILFIGER’s sustainability vision to Waste Nothing and Welcome All.
The final event took place on February 9th at the TOMMY HILFIGER global headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where the program’s five finalists pitched their business concepts to a distinguished jury panel consisting of business and sustainability leaders. Koalaa and Moner Bondhu were awarded a combined prize of €200,000 and will benefit from a year-long mentorship with experts from Tommy Hilfiger and from INSEAD — one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools — in addition to a space in the INSEAD Hans Wahl Impact Entrepreneurship Program, which is designed to cultivate innovative leaders by bringing together people, cultures and ideas. Koalaa was also voted ‘Audience Favorite’ by TOMMY HILFIGER associates, winning a further €15,000 prize.
The winners of the fourth Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge are:
Koalaa: A British initiative that engineers comfortable, affordable and soft upper limb prosthetic, as well as providing a supportive community, was awarded €115,000. “Our team can’t wait to help and empower this incredible community,” said Nate Macabuag, founder of Koalaa. “We can appreciate what having comfortable and affordable prosthetics means, and we want to move forward in a big way to serve people of all ages. Winning this challenge means we can drive real impact and build our community of peer-to-peer support.”
Moner Bondhu: A Bangladesh-based startup that provides accessible and affordable mental health and wellbeing services to all, was awarded €100,000. “We are honored to be named a winner of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge,” said Tawhida Shiropa, founder and CEO of Moner Bondhu. “We are committed to driving our mission forward at a global scale, offering professional counselling, workshops and training to all, especially garment factory workers, women and youth across Bangladesh. Winning the challenge is one more way in which we are making a real difference.”
“As a global brand, we have a responsibility to amplify the voices of innovators committed to driving positive change in our industry,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “More work needs to be done to achieve true inclusivity across the fashion landscape. The positivity and entrepreneurship that each finalist brought to the table makes me hopeful that we’re heading in the right direction.”
The jurors who oversaw the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge final event included:
- Mr. Tommy Hilfiger
- 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
The fourth edition of the program launched in March 2022, with over 250 applications received from social entrepreneurs around the world. Over a multi-step, year-long process, TOMMY HILFIGER associates and select consumer judges narrowed this down to five finalists based on a strict set of criteria. In the lead up to the final event, the entrepreneurs completed design sprints with TOMMY HILFIGER experts where they presented their most pressing business challenges and developed practical solutions. They then refined their pitches by presenting to a select group of venture capitalists.
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.
More information about the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge is available here: https://responsibility.pvh.com/tommy/fashion-frontier-challenge/. Applications for the fifth Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge will open later in 2023.