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Style & Stuff Editorial

fot17.jpg It's time you got your thrift on

The National Festival of Thrift is back in Redcar for two days this September with the kind of sustainable fun that has succeeded in making a wild success out of the very notion of sustainable fun.

I must admit, when I first heard about the Festival of Thrift, I thought: this is going to be worthy but as dull as dishwater. What’s it going to consist of? 100 fun ways to wash out a jar of Marmite? That was four years ago – when it first started – but since then the two-day event has proved to be wildly popular – and award winning – with an incredibly diverse programme that is packed with creativity, making, fixing and learning. It also focuses on how people can be empowered by sharing differing points of view of the world, as well as ideas, thoughts, experiences and skills. Oh – and it really is enormous fun for everyone.

As ever it will feature inventive and inspiring artworks and performances, lots of live music, stalls selling one-off items not found on the high-street, thought-provoking talks, a range of workshops passing on skills and thrifty tips and tricks, as well as a wide range of innovative tasty food and drink.

Regular favourites Fix It Café, Bistros du Van and national upcycling treasure Max McCurdo return, and new highlights for the 2017 event include a magical immersive mystery tour in a specially converted double-decker bus; ideas for creating your own thrifty ceremonies; and the chance to become a citizen of Cardboardia. Cardboardia? Stella Hall, Director of the Festival of Thrift, explains that the Cardboardia team has spent the past decade creating temporary towns around the world: “Cardboardia is a country where people can re-invent themselves for a while. It has no territory, but has its own economic, political and social system and the team travels, organises national holidays and opens Cardboardia Embassies around the world, which will include Kirkleatham in September. It is all great fun and the workshops are part of our drive to build communities where anyone with a creative spirit can engage with each other and let their imaginations run wild.” They will be talking rubbish tips, campfire cooking, guerrilla gardening and wielding a potting shed on wheels.

Foodies are sure to go ga-ga for this year’s The Town Is The Menu, which has been developed for the festival by Simon Preston, the food guru whose BBC Radio 4 series of the same name sees top chefs creating a dish inspired by their home town. In 2016 Redcar got the full treatment and this year it’s Saltburn’s turn, with a menu that has been inspired by the town’s unique local character and the people who live there. And, as an extra treat, the menu will be dished up within the lovely walled garden in Kirkleatham on a long table and there will be two seatings per day at 12 noon and 2pm (advance booking strongly recommended – book now from the website, below).

Also new this year will be GWK Woodshed presenting a workshop on building your very own garden den. Here youngsters can learn how to turn reclaimed wood, rope, a few nails and other choice material into dens of their dreams.

Returning this year will be the ever-popular Oxglam Fashion Show. Looking a million dollars doesn’t have to cost you. It’s all about how you style it and how you let your individuality shine though. Vintage, second-hand and up-cycled clothes have long been a way for people to stamp their own style, and that will be fully reflected here.

Needless to say, we’re merely skimming the surface of all the stuff that is happening over the two, action-packed days of this festival, but you can get all of the up to the minute news and info from the website, below.

The Festival of Thrift, Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 September, Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds, Redcar, 10am-5pm, free. festivalofthrift.co.uk