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The Festival of Thrift

Have you heard about The Festival of Thrift?
The inaugural event was last year, and was a rip-roaring success with 27,000 people joining in will the thrifty fun.
And now it’s back for it’s second year and promises to be even bigger, better and more thrift-filled that 2013.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 15.34.07

The Festival of Thrift is the brainchild of Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway (of Hemingway Design), and John Orchard, who owns Lingfield Point in Darlington.
Lingfield Point is the venue for the Festival and was originally built as the Patons and Baldwins Wool Factory. It is now a contemporary and low carbon business community, and the perfect venue for a Festival of Thrift, showcasing how the best in upcycling and modern design can mix with industrial heritage.
The idea behind the festival was to bring a free cultural celebration to the people of the North East, the UK and beyond, where people could find the fun in learning how to reuse, recycle and upcycle, saving both money and benefiting the environment.

I was gutted to miss last year’s Festival, and I am afraid to say it looks like I won’t be making it again this year, but it looks AMAZING-I wanted to share it with you, as I think it might just appeal…!

If you are anything like me, it is basically everything you could ever want in a Festival-there are workshops, food stalls, inspirational speakers, stalls selling upcycled, recycled and second-hand gems and more!
These are just of a few of the things that caught my eye:

  • The Fix It Café-where expert volunteers will be on hand to help you to fix your broken items, anything from damaged shoes to electrical goods. Inside the café festival-goers will find ‘fixers’ with tools, advice and a whole heap of knowledge, and if all else fails some ideas on how to re-use or recycle.
  • Jamallot-the festivals very own chutney and jam factory. Festival go-ers donate their fruit and veg, or their time, and make Jam and Chutney. The produce is then sold for a suggested donation of 50p, or given to charity-what a totally brilliant idea!
    Jamallot Picture Credit: The Festival of Thrift

    Picture Credit: The Festival of Thrift

  •  Swap Shop-where you can exchange clothes, books, toys, plants, knowledge and talents!
  • A Junk Orchestra will be on stage too, working with the team at Sage Gateshead they’ll be asking for help to make and play the instruments made from your donated ‘junk’
  • Uber-crafter and Channel 4’s ‘Superscrimper’ Nicolette La Fonseca will be creating an upcycled room – showing you can do beautiful on a budget
  • Upcycling hero Max McMurdo will be building a shed from old Cuprinol cans…!
  • A huge range of workshops-from chocolate making and charcuterie, to bread making and bee keeping, via jewellery making from toys and spinning and patchwork!
    Lego rings Picture credit: The Festival of Thrift

    Lego rings
    Picture credit: The Festival of Thrift

And did I mention that entry to the Festival is FREE..?!

In case you hadn’t quite made up your mind yet, here are a few words from Wayne Hemingway, Festival Co-Founder to seal the deal:
“Thrift has become a vital, contemporary movement reflecting traditional values, and it’s evolving each day as our needs and the needs of our planet change. What we found last year is that thrift stimulates community thinking and provides a reason for people to get together – from families who want a free fun day out with fantastic entertainment, food and activities to those who are looking to learn new skills while saving money and contributing positively to the planet while they’re doing it.
The Festival of Thrift is an apt response to the economic climate and can play a positive and uplifting role in helping folk to navigate their way through times of low disposable income. We’re on a mission to show everyone that you can live for less and do it in a creative and fun way.”

I am gutted to not be able to make it, but would love to hear from any of you if you go!
BUT I have been lucky enough to be offered the chance to interview some of the people behind The Festival of Thrift, so stay tuned for these this week 🙂



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  • Reply kittysbunting September 23, 2014 at 7:10 am

    This sounds amazing, gutted that I can’t make it. Look forward to hearing more through your interviews

    • Reply Jen September 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      It does sounds pretty fab doesn’t it?!

  • Reply Lindsay (treadingmyownpath) September 23, 2014 at 12:35 am

    This festival looks so awesome! Look forward to hearing more about it from your interviews : )

    • Reply Jen September 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks Lindsay!

  • Reply donnerscott September 22, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Shame, that’s so far away… sounds brill.

    • Reply Jen September 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I know-we need a Thrift Fest South!

  • Reply Zahra September 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Wow, this sounds awesome!

    • Reply Jen September 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      It really does, doesn’t it?!

  • Reply lesleygcooper September 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    What a fabulous sounding event, would love to be able to go to it

    • Reply Jen September 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Me too-such a shame it’s soooo far-googled it and it would take me nearly 6hours-not sure I can drag the Smalls and hubby that far..!

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