Earth Day 2021: Pupils understand the importance of sustainability in business through inspiring guest speakers and independent projects - Framlingham College

Thomasina Miers, founder of the hugely successful Wahaca restaurant chain, was recently interviewed by our Head of Careers at the Senior School, Caroline Styles, as part of the Inspire! series of talks with industry leaders and influential individuals. These talks are designed to challenge perspectives and inspire our pupils to embark on their own journey, whatever they choose to become. Mrs Miers spoke at length about her own impressive entrepreneurial story as well as her perspectives on climate change and how we all have a role to play in bringing different sectors into a more sustainable and prosperous world. We will be releasing the interview for our pupils to enjoy later in the term as part of our Year 13 Leavers’ Programme before they take the first steps as global citizens carving their own paths.

Sustainability is unquestionably a priority here at Framlingham College, with Prep School Head of Humanities, Chris Webster, taking a proactive approach to find ways to reduce the size of our Carbon Footprint. Mr Webster is currently working on integrating a litter picking app for pupils to download and use to register their litter picking efforts for instance.

We are lining up several guest speakers to help our pupils to consider sustainability in their future careers and with any business concepts they may develop going forward. This is something which Year 13 pupil, Kitty D, strongly believes in, and has her own small jewellery business project, which she makes from locally sourced components. She said: “I make pieces of jewellery to order and sell them online. It’s just a side project at the moment but I hope to increase what I can do towards the end of term.”

Kitty also wrote her Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) on sustainable fashion specifically, drawing parallels between the period following World War 2 when materials were in short supply and today, when fashion is redressing its manufacturing processes for environmental reasons.

It’s clear from the Inspire! interview, that Thomasina Miers’ story is a truly exceptional one. It was whilst travelling in Mexico, aged just 18, that she discovered the vast difference between Tex Mex food and authentic Mexican cuisine. Over the course of her development, and throughout her twenties, the difference in quality between the foods at UK restaurants was a persistent niggle and she later, after meeting her business partner, Mark Selby, decided to turn her idea into a business.

And so Wahaca was born. The popular authentic Mexican restaurant chain now has 13 branches across the UK, including several Central London locations. One of the founding principles of the restaurant is its focus on sustainability and ethically sourced food. Prior to her incredible business success, she was also crowned champion of the BBC series MasterChef in 2005, which later led to a career in television, where she produced a series for Channel 4.

With sustainability more on the political agenda than ever, we are ensuring that we are doing as much as we can to ensure our school is as ecologically responsible as possible. We will be releasing the full Inspire! video featuring Thomasina Miers later in the summer term.

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