Supporting sustainable living at the Festival of Thrift

We’re supporting the Festival of Thrift next month, in its brand-new location.  

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30 Aug 2023

The nationally recognised sustainable living event will take place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September in Billingham town centre.

The town centre and adjacent John Whitehead Park will be transformed for a weekend of free arts, culture and celebration – with a clear vision to create positive sustainable change.

Our support will enable festival workshops to be provided for free – making the event accessible for the wider community.

Workshops will be popping-up across the festival with lots of hands-on tips and techniques for slow fashion, mending and repairing, growing and ecology, food and zero waste, natural household and beauty products, arts and crafts, and sustainable living techniques.

We’re excited to showcase how our furniture upcycling scheme is helping our most vulnerable customers, through the work the team are doing to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste, by reconditioning donated and once-loved furniture, before giving it back to those who need it the most.

Our environmental team and champions will be promoting our Take Control campaign - our plans to becoming a much greener organisation and our journey to net zero. 

There'll be a chance to meet the team and take part in fun activities to learn about ways to protect our planet.

Head of environmental sustainability Samantha Granger said: “We’re proud to be supporting the Festival of Thrift.

“It’s a real team effort at Thirteen, connecting with the wider community and finding ways to support and bring people together. 

“We’re passionate about projects which are about supporting and giving back to our customers.

“Many of our customers are still having to reassess household spending, with the ongoing rises of the cost of living. Our furniture upcycling scheme has brought two key benefits - to not only help customers facing severe financial challenges furnish their homes with clean, restored and attractive furniture, but also preventing hundreds of tonnes of unwanted furniture going to landfill.

“The new location will make it more accessible to the communities that we support,  and we’re excited to form a new partnership that will see us working together with colleagues in community resiliance, customer involvement and tenancy support to benefit our customers. We’re certain that our partnership with the Festival of Thrift over the years ahead and the projects we bring to life, will encourage the small changes that make a big difference to our planet.”

Festival of Thrift Executive Director Emma Whitenstall said: “Festival of Thrift’s legendary workshops offer lots of great thrifty hacks to save our resources and save us all money and this year, thanks to our new partnership with Thirteen, they are all free!

“Whether people drop-in or sign up in advance to learn a new skill or catch a demo, we are aiming to inspire community action to help save our planet whilst having lots of fun at the same time.

“Our relationship with Thirteen goes beyond this year’s festival; however, we will be working together over the next three years to connect Thirteen residents to Thrift activity year-round to raise awareness of the climate emergency and the action everyone can take in their everyday lives to minimise their impact on the planet.”

Find out more about the Festival of Thrift