HEAT announces the three winners of the Ignite Prize; each receiving a £10,000 grant. A series of financial grants for young entrepreneurs; celebrating next-generation excellence...

Youth culture experts HEAT announces three winners of the Ignite Prize, powered by FLANNELS, which launched as part of the luxury retailer’s ongoing Youth-Phoria project; championing the excellence and ambition of a new generation through a series of initiatives and cultural events. 

On 18th May 2023, HEAT invited digital-first young entrepreneurs from across the UK to apply with either a business idea or an existing business in its infancy. The three winning businesses represent the categories of fashioninnovation and circularity and have been awarded the tools and funding to accelerate and support their businesses: a £10,000 grant, a year of mentorship from HEAT founders Joe Wilkinson and Mario Maher and wider panellists, and an opportunity to show up within the FLANNELS business based on the winning business’ needs.

HEAT founders Joe Wilkinson and Mario Maher led a panel of experts from a cross-section of businesses in the fund categories to select the final three businesses from a multi-hyphenate group of applicants. The winners were announced at a special event hosted at FLANNELS X on 5th July, where the top 50 finalists were invited to meet with industry experts in each of the categories. The winners of the Ignite Prize are: 

Fashion Prize: SYSTEMS

SYSTEMS is a fashion project by Finlay Vincent Roberts that focuses on producing fully modular clothing collections, designed for ultimate versatility and longevity. The project’s first collection – MODEL A – is formed of various changeable looks that can be reconfigured based on the wearer’s needs, allowing people to design their own ‘system’ of clothing. The designer created the business after experiencing the lack of sustainability in the second hand market whilst living in Kenya; SYSTEMS’ ambition is to produce each collection as an update on the previous, reducing waste and maximising individual garment usage – and allow customers to construct their own personalised ‘system’ wardrobe. Finlay Vincent Roberts Instagram.


Innovation Prize: Truss

Truss, founded by Woody Lello, is a luxury fashion platform that aggregates resale data through connections to multiple online stores,  including marketplaces such as Grailed, Depop, and other smaller boutique resellers. The Truss app enables buyers to find multiple locations where the same garment is available online whilst comparing pricing. At the same time, Bridge (Truss’s data processing engine) collects useful information, and informs future buyers about garment details, previous resale prices, and release dates. 

Truss has indexed over 25,000 individual garments with resale data including release date, SKU, price history, tag references and materials. The mission is to reduce asymmetry in the sale of luxury second hand goods in a market with rampant counterfeits, lack of trust and no indication of product value. Truss Instagram.


Circularity Prize: Alice Palace

Alice Palace, founded by Alice Innes, is a contemporary arts business focusing on simple but innovative lighting designs, usually in the form of graphic floral shapes that can be re-imagined in various scales and materials. Each piece is unique, and designed ultimately to bring people joy, whilst being environmentally conscious; the most recent collection has been made using natural materials, and the business hopes to continue experimenting with other sustainable, innovative materials and processes. The current product line includes: wall lights, mirrors, art pieces and tables, sold in limited edition series, making each drop exclusive and highly sought-after. Alice Palace products are available to purchase from alicepalace.art. Alice Palace Instagram.


Beckie Stanion, CMO of FLANNELS, comments on the winners“It was incredibly inspiring to receive so many unique applications for each of the three categories – every business showed us something different which made it really tough to judge. However, the winners – SYSTEMS, Truss, and Alice Palace – showed the originality and ambition we were looking for, and we’re so excited to award them this grant, and to watch them thrive in their next chapters.”

Joe Wilkinson and Mario Maher, Co-Founders of HEAT, comment: “TRUSS ticked a lot of boxes for us. We feel that for young consumers, information and stories relating to fashion products they’re investing in, is one of the most important things. Having a platform like TRUSS that aggregates all platform data, to create one source of truth is game changing for any fashion head.

I [Joe] love modular versatile fashion, my favourite jeans ever are the VETEMENTS transformer jeans so when I saw Finlay’s application, I was drawn straight to it. We’re completely aligned with Finlay’s innovative approach to making fashion more sustainable which made this application a stand-out.

Alice is super creative and we believe that helping her create a more accessible entry level product will allow us to push into target wholesalers and boost the brand visibility/exposure. We got super excited about this business as we can see this product becoming a homeware staple, similar to Gustaf Westman.”

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