Gloucestershire student tackles sustainability in business head on

School News

21 December 2021

Gloucestershire student tackles sustainability in business head on

Sir Thomas Rich's student Tom Evans talks about his sustainable "side hustle"

17-year-old Gloucestershire student, Tom Evans, currently a year 12 student studying at Sir Thomas Rich’s school in Gloucester, is gearing up to celebrate the 1st anniversary of his micro business “Gymdolfin” which sells ethically sourced gym and leisure wear, and was inspired by watching Blue Planet 2 this time last year.

Young entrepreneur Tom says, “Gymdolfin supports efforts to get to Net Zero not only by minimising our sportswear’s carbon footprint through using local suppliers and recyclable materials, but also by helping conserve the ocean around us. The world’s oceans are estimated to absorb around a third of the carbon emitted by humans (according to national geographic). However, the ocean can only continue to reduce the carbon in our atmosphere if it remains unpolluted and the life within it is protected. By raising money for ocean conservation charities like the WWFUK, Gymdolfin is helping fund efforts to protect marine habitats and help further our progress towards becoming Net Zero.”

Tom, like so many of us was deeply inspired by the programme narrated by veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, which served as a call to action to defend our natural habitats. “In the series, Sir David highlighted the responsibility we have to look after the marine habitats around us and the life within them. I then thought about how I could combine my passion for exercise with a way to help conserve our oceans. Over the next 2 months Gymdolfin was born”. 

Reflecting on what the process of setting up an ethical business has meant to him, and the lessons that can be shared with other young people considering setting up their own business, Tom says, “Gymdolfin’s taught me a lot personally: I’ve quickly realised how important customer satisfaction is and how vital it is to meet demand all of the time. The most important thing I’ve learnt is how valuable foresight is. You’ve always got to be planning ahead and working now to make things easier in the future. Risk taking is also a necessary part of business; if your unwilling to take risks, you are limiting how far you can grow” 

Also celebrating its first anniversary, GFirst LEP’s Careers Hub, funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company works alongside the Careers Leader at Sir Thomas Rich’s School, and similar careers leaders in over 50 county secondary schools and colleges. Its core mission is to support the development of quality Careers education programmes in Gloucestershire secondary schools and colleges.

Speaking for the Careers Hub, Rob Jenkins, Careers Hub Manager, says: “The Hub whilst supporting schools and colleges to deliver high quality Careers Education across the county is all about supporting individual young people to maximise their opportunities and to realise their career ambitions. Tom is a shining example of the raw entrepreneurial talent which can be found in the county, and the ambition of the Hub is to support schools and colleges to engage with businesses to nurture and develop that talent. It is gratifying to see that Tom also has been able to fuse his entrepreneurial flair in a way that supports sustainability and addresses contemporary issues such as the drive to a net zero economy”

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