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Tommy Hilfiger Honors Programs That Support Refugees and Factory Workers

Tommy Hilfiger is rewarding entrepreneurs who are developing positive solutions in the fashion space.

The PVH Corp.-owned company named Apon Wellbeing and A Beautiful Mess the winners of its Fashion Frontier Challenge, a program that supports young professionals committed to changing the fashion industry for the better.

The two winners received €75,000 (about $81,000) and a year-long mentorship with experts from Tommy Hilfiger and global business school Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD). The winners also receive a place in the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program (ISEP).

Apon Wellbeing is a national chain of affordable grocery stores inside Bangladesh factories. Through the stores, workers can access free health insurance other benefits through purchasing groceries from the stores.

Dutch company A Beautiful Mess helps refugees find social and economic independence by providing jobs at its restaurants and studio. There, tailors from other countries can create clothes, bags and more from recycled materials.

“We need big players in the fashion industry to scale-up circular production initiatives, and that’s exactly what the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge offers,” Naz Kawan, A Beautiful Mess makerspace director, said. “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.”

Sudara, an Indian pajama scaleup that teaches professional and sewing skills to women, was named the “Audience Favorite Vote.” Fashion Frontier Challenge rewarded the company €10,000 (about $10,800).

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“The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge is all about using fashion as a force for good, which directly speaks to our brand purpose,” Shannon Keith, Sudara Inc. founder and chairwoman, said. “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.”

This is the second Fashion Frontier Challenge. More than 400 applications were received for the program by startups across a number of verticals within the fashion industry. The company chose six finalists for the competition in January.

“This is just the beginning for these startups and we will continue to mentor and foster these entrepreneurs who are so committed to making a positive impact in our industry,” Tommy Hilfiger said in a statement.