Our Story

From Thrifty Beginnings

In 2013, Hemingway Design and property developer John Orchard had a chance meeting at an old industrial site in Darlington and had the idea of creating a festival that harnessed the movement of thrift by combining culture, sustainability and style. STELLA HALL (CREATIVE DIRECTOR) LED THE CHARGE AND Thousands of people came. the shift to thrift was on!
1o years later we attract 50,000 to our free festival each September! Some of the faces have changed but the ethos remains.

Northern Roots

What makes us special is our very strong Northern identity. We were born in Darlington but having moved to Redcar and now onto Billingham, we are growing up in the Tees Valley. We represent everyday folk and encourage change in affordable realistic ways.


The festival is about celebration and joy. We have a serious message at our heart but we are with the world and want to leave it a better place than we found it! We believe in consuming thoughtfully and ethically and our actions should benefit not harm the planet.


When you come to the festival you will be inspired by many things, artists, workshops, exhibitions, performances, ethical shopping. Everything you experience with us is valuable, thoughtful and fun. Together we can save the planet and do it with style.


As individuals can make those small changes, the shift to thrift, that will add up to a big difference for the future of our planet, and encouraging others to join in. Every penny we raise goes back into our work and increasing the number of people we can engage with. Donations can help us do more with more people so please give what you can.


Festival of thrift welcomes you

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