Festival of Thrift

Billingham and Redcar

Festival of Thrift (FoT) is the UK national festival of sustainable living, positioning artists as inspirers to action and encouraging change through workshops, exhibitions and performances, giving families the confidence to create while having fun on a budget.  

Reaching new audiences from all over the UK year on year, the focus has always been on how we 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. 

FoT having just celebrated 10 years, continues to grow from strength to strength both in numbers of visitors and position on the cultural calendar.  

The climate crisis is growing and combined with a cost of living crisis there has never been a more relevant time for this message.  Be part of the solution not part of the pollution! 

Events at Festival of Thrift

The programme includes exhibitions, films, talks, dance, food, theatre, music, participation, making, fixing, debating and advice.  

Each year the festival has a distinctive theme, linked to UN Sustainable Development Goals that informs the creative programme. In 2023 the festival will continue exploring Sustainable Cities & Communities and in 2024 the theme will look at Health & Wellbeing as they build partnerships around Tees Valleys pioneering approach to Arts in Health. In 2025 we will focus on Industry, innovation and infrastructure which will align with the 200th anniversary of the first passenger train in Tees Valley. 

They will develop skills, knowledge & confidence in sustainable & heritage arts and crafts in all disciplines by working alongside recycling/upcycling enthusiasts and engaging high calibre artists with a commitment to social engagement. 

Why we joined Without Walls

“Without Walls enables us to raise our profile and tap into high quality national expertise. It provides us with a cost effective way of showcasing new and dynamic outdoor arts. Without Walls gives us the opportunity to continue to champion diversity through our creative programme.  We also hope to increase our development through shared best practice in sustainabilityWe are excited to help promote sustainable living by showcasing  high quality outdoor arts from brilliant national artiststo audiences in the Tees Valley.” 

Impact on local community

Visitors get involved in a mix of on and offline experiences throughout the year. Communities will come together to share, grow & learn. With a key message of working together for a creative, thoughtful & stronger brighter future. The festival promotes the concept of sustainable living and is a voice for sustainable issues, globally and locally. By continuing to work closely with artists and craftspeople trading at the Festival, building skills through regular networking events and sharing social media, brand building and business development expertise.  The local community is at the heart of delivering the festival through skill sharing and volunteering, encouraging knowledge and confidence in sustainable arts and crafts.  Visitors to the festival work alongside recycling and upcycling enthusiasts and high calibre artists with a commitment to sustainability.