Leading designer Wayne Hemingway has promised to show us how to cut corners at the North East’s first Festival of Thrift.
The fashion guru, who moved into housing design after the sale of his label Red or Dead and is behind the award-winning development at Dunston Staithes, is this time leading the way in the region’s new festival which promotes recycling, “upcyling” and a multitude of ways to save money – and is a national first. Taking place in September at Lingfield Point – a former wool factory in Darlington, itself given a new lease of life as an award-winning home for business - the Festival of Thrift is all about finding enjoyable ways of making the best of these cash-strapped economic times by sustainable living with a modern take on the “make do and mend” attitude.
It’s how Lancashire-born Wayne and his wife and business partner Gerardine, who started out selling second-hand clothes at London’s Camden Market, have always lived and, with today’s younger generation already catching on, he’s excited about showing others what fun it can be.
He says: “A downturn doesn’t mean to say it’s an unhappy time. It’s actually had positive results. There’s a return to proper values and more people have adopted the old ways.”
Besides reflecting renewed interest in the cash-saving simple things in life, such as home baking, making clothes and growing food, the festival will highlight new businesses and technologies which are flourishing.
Wayne added: “I went to visit Lingfield Point and was blown away by the quality of what’s going on there and the ambition of the place. I think it’s one of the best regeneration and re-use projects I have ever seen.”
Having a thrift-theme festival is a great way to both promote that and to reflect the change in modern society where he says being hard-up has inspired those positive changes.
“People are making a lot of money out of breeding chickens, there are new businesses being started. This festival will be a couple of days when people can come and learn ways to save money.
“Every single person who comes along will find something they enjoy doing, I just know it.”
The festival will strike a chord with the growing numbers of people rebelling against our disposable society and keen to protect the environment.
And the designer, whose home boasts a sofa made from a boat and who can show us a thing or two about how to look cool in second-hand clothes, will be on hand with his tips.
The festival takes place on September 21-22. Highlights include an Alternative Village Fete, allotments, music , food, workshops and a Multi–Thrifty Swapshop. See www.festivalofthrift.co.uk