From Eco-School student to environment entrepreneur

“Eco-Schools” is a globalorganisation implemented in most schools across the world with over 20 million studentsparticipatingat preset. The goal for Eco-Schools is to teach students about caring for nature and the environment, empowerthem to take action and to participate in meaningful environmental activities and projects.

It is without doubt that the FEE, the Foundation for Environmental Education had a clear vision when starting this initiative. It is great for students as it is fun as well as educational. If you ask any Eco-Schools student, they will surely tell you that all the work they do would not be possible without committent.

A perfect example of this is Samira Axiak, an ex-Eco-Schools studentwhose life style was greatly impacted by Eco-Schools. She is now an environmental influencer as well as a thrift shop co-ownerwith Maya Mifsudendeavouring to implement thrifting and sustainable living in Malta.

It’s amazing to see how Eco-Schools hasaffected her in such a positive way. This article aims to showhow from being an Eco-Schools student, she is now an environmental entrepreneur trying to live life in a sustainable way as well as implementing itin the lives of others.

Samira has taken part in many interviews about thrifting and sustainable living. Back in 2019, during an interview conducted by “” Samira revealed that she had always had a special placein her heart for the environment and that when she was younger she would always say that she wanted to studyenvironmental law.

During this same interview Samira was asked if she thinks there is a stigma for thrift shopping. She said that unfortunately many people think that the items sold by thrift shops are always of a cheap quality and that theyare just clutter. She also said that fortunately this opinion is slowly becoming lesscommon asamong the younger generations more people are becoming aware of the impact that big companies have on the environment.

According to the UnitedNations,the fashion industry produces up to 8% of globalcarbon emissions and that textile workers are oftenpaidlittle to nothingat all and are oftenforced to work long hours.

Hearing all this inspired me to set up a short interview with her and thisis what she had to say:

1)Howlong were youin Eco-School for and what inspired you to join?

“I spent my last 3 years of secondary school in Eco-Schools, atfirst, I joined to learn more about the environment and to better the school’s ambience- but as time passed, I stayed because other than educating ourselves, we were encouraged to be hands-on.”

(2) Do you have any goals for the shop?

“Absolutely! Whilst we are always striving to be better, our biggest goal is to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. We will continue to source and sell the best quality items possible to show that thrifting is not only good for your pocket but also fashionable.”

(3) What inspired you to open a shop with Maya?

“Since Maya is a fashion designer and I am a content creator, we bonded over our love for the fashion industry. Through my knowledge of vintage pieces and Maya’s knowledge of modern fashion, we knew“Thrift in the City”would be a dream to start. We started our brand in the form of monthly events back in March of 2023 and after seeing the impact it had, we opened the shop permanently in January of this year. We are a great team and our love toward the environment shines through when we’re working on projects together.”

(4) Do you have any message for children in Eco-Schools or for children wanting to join Eco-Schools

“Absolutely! My message is simple: GO FOR IT! Not only is it a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about how to better the environment and sustainability, but it also teaches you that every little bit of help makes a difference! The knowledge and skills you gain throughEco-Schools extend far beyond the classroom and will surely have a lasting impact on your life and the planet. It will give you good values and who knows? Maybe you will end up like myself who takes pride in building a career revolving around sustainability!”

Clearly, Samira is truly passionate about sustainable living and the environment. She commonly posts on her socials about what great pieces she scores whilst shopping in thrift shops. She also makes sure to share the price so that at least, even if people don’t buy clothes from thrift stores for the sake of a sustainable lifestyle, at least she intrigues them with the fact that she gets these beautiful things far cheaper second hand rather than if you were going to buy them from the original store. Hopefully, when people are interested in thrifting for the reason of the incredible bargains, they slowly realise and learn more about sustainable living.

In an attempt to get people interested in sustainable living as well as thrifting, Samira shares styling advice of her own using the clothing she would have just thrifted. She shares some of her outfits online and her excitement at the purchase and styling aspects really shine through

A visit to her thrift shop” Thrift in the city”, shows that she and her team designed every inch of the place with beautiful decor, stunning lights and relatable posters and boards saying things such as “delulu is the best solulu” and other sweet messages. The shop is very diverse and sells a variety of things such as cups and bags.

Samira is an amazing influence on children who are in Eco-Schools but also to those who aren’t as she may inspire them to join. Both Samira and Maya have made a beneficial impact and I wish them and “Thrift in the city” all the best along with all the support that Samira needs to keep promoting sustanible living.

By Kyla Nicole Psaila