British artist Annie Sloan CBE, is to become Festival of Thrift’s first Patron of Thrift.

Chalk paint inventor and thrifty interior decorating pioneer Annie Sloan CBE appointed as first Patron of Thrift 

The renowned inventor of chalk paint and pioneer of colourful money-saving decorating ideas, British artist Annie Sloan CBE, is to become Festival of Thrift’s first Patron of Thrift. 

A household name in interior design since 1990, Annie Sloan will have a hands-on role in the festival and will take part in a live panel Q&A session with festival co-founder Wayne Hemingway at the event taking part in Billingham on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September 2023. 

Festival-goers will also be able to take part in a series of special workshops from some handpicked Annie Sloan interior stockists. 

Annie Sloan has long been committed to reducing environmental impact and championing independent businesses from across the globe as both Annie Sloan Interiors the company, and in her own practice. 

With a recent CBE for services to interior design she is the perfect first patron for Festival of Thrift after producing the chalk paints that revolutionised upcycling and ultimately saved countless pieces of furniture from landfill.  

Annie Sloan explained why she is delighted to be joining Festival of Thrift. 

“I am delighted to have been appointed the first Patron of Thrift. The Festival of Thrift is a wonderful event which mirrors our values at Annie Sloan. When I invented my revolutionary Chalk Paint in 1990 it was to give people an easy-to-use paint that could be used to upcycle unloved furniture.  

“Over the last thirty years the Annie Sloan painting community has grown all over the world, but we all share the same values – we believe in supporting independent businesses, caring for our community and being conscious of the environment and of our impact on it.” 

Dominic Somers, Co Creative Director from Festival of Thrift, said that Annie Sloan’s appointment is the first in the festival’s soon to be rolled out patron programme that will see supporters from all walks of life contributing and raising awareness of the award-winning nationally recognised event.  

“We’re very excited to be working with Annie Sloan who is internationally renowned for her joyful, colourful and sustainable interior design. 

“Annie is the perfect person to spearhead our Thrifty Patrons programme and help us to spread the word about making the shift to thrift and a more sustainable way of life.” 

Now in its eleventh year, Festival of Thrift has relocated to Billingham and takes place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September 2023. The free event features a host of performances, demonstrations, talks, exhibitions, stalls and food and drink all designed to encourage sustainable living.  

To find out more about Festival of Thrift, volunteer and get involved sign up at or follow the festival’s social media feeds @festivalofthrift on Facebook and Instagram and @FestoThrift on Twitter. 

Festival of Thrift is funded thanks to generous support from Arts Council England, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority. 


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