Update on opening times >

Hello and welcome to the Cone Exchange blog. This is the place we share your stories and pictures of just what can be created with rubbish.

We will be reopening after the summer holidays on Tuesday 14th September but we will remain open by appointment only. This is to limit the number of people in the shop at any one time. 


Appointments will be available to book on Tuesdays between 10and 3pm and on Thursdays between 10am and 7pm. They will remain limited to 2 people (this includes children) and will continue to be for 30mins. To book an appointment please email: hello@coneexchange.org and bookings will begin from Monday 6th September.


Please note that, following feedback from our customers, we will still be asking customers to wear masks in our shop. 


If you have any questions, please drop us an email. If you are wanting to book, please let us know which day and an approximate time of day that you hope to visit. 

Who We Work With… Jennyruth Workshops

At the Cone Exchange, we work we with a number of different charities and groups in our local communities. We’ve been working in partnership with some of these charities for years, and some much more recently, thanks Covid-19. This ‘Who We Work With’ mini-series is to help you learn a little bit about who we help and what they do, even if that just means spreading the word a little bit further.

This week we’re focusing on Jennyruth Workshops, a charity offering support and work experience to adults with learning disabilities in Ripon and the surrounding areas.

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Who We Work With… Resurrected Bites

At the Cone Exchange, we work with a number of different charities and groups in our local communities. We’ve been working in partnership with some of these charities for years, and some much more recently, thanks Covid-19. This ‘Who We Work With’ mini-series is to help you learn a little bit about who we help and what they do, even if that just means spreading the word a little bit further.

This week we’re focusing on Resurrected Bites, a food redistribution charity who work in the Harrogate and Leeds areas.

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When you go down to the woods today…

…you will meet a lovely bunch of volunteers from the Cone Exchange exploring their new woodland project! Keen to learn more about the new tree planting relationship with the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust and see firsthand the difference their trees will make to the environment, a group of hardy volunteers ventured out on an unseasonably cold day to visit our recently planted trees in Woodale Wood.

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Turning Over A New Leaf

We are thrilled to have launched a new partnership with the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust to plant new trees in the Yorkshire Dales through the sales of paper, card and other papercrafting materials in our craft recycling shop. The launch sees the planting of 300 new trees this year, with a further 400 planned over the next two years.

“As a business, we’re really excited to combine our local environmental and community work with our long-term passion for trees, by creating our own Cone Exchange Wood,” says Chris Powell, our Community Champion who runs the project. “We’re thrilled that the money raised will be used to create a project that our volunteers and customers can visit to see first-hand the impact these trees will have,”he continues.

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A Blue Peter Badge for the Cone Exchange

We were thrilled to be invited to appear on Blue Peter alongside a group of crafty children from Hookstone Chase Primary School. Our very own Chris Powell was interviewed by presenters Radzi and Lindsey and explained about the Cone Exchange and how we reuse items that are destined for landfill. Chris was thrilled to be presented with his very own Green Blue Peter badge which will take pride of place with his MBE! 

We were on CBBC on Thursday 21st June at 5.30pm and its available on BBC I-Player now if you want to check it out.

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A year at the Cone Exchange

The Cone Exchange has enjoyed another successful year. At the heart of the Cone Exchange is a commitment to give waste a new lease of life and to see ability, not disability, in people.

Over the course of the year we’ve recycled our own business waste along with that of 12 other businesses, raised over £15,000 for local good causes, and hosted 800 hours of work placements for adults with additional learning needs.

More information on the Cone Exchange’s impact during the year gone by can be found in our 2017 Annual Review.

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All in a good cause

Our main work experience partner at the Cone Exchange, Henshaws, were recently in receipt of a Good Cause Award from our family business. They had applied for a little help with purchasing some new garden furniture for the community allotment that they had just taken over the maintenance of and were thrilled to be able to purchase the items from Horticap, one of the social enterprises we have worked with closely for a number of years. It’s a fantastic feeling when our partners can all work together for the benefit of the community.

Lee Gray, Work Experience Co-Ordinator at Henshaws tells us:

Thanks to Bettys & Taylors we were able to have Horticap build us a composter and some raised garden beds for the allotment. The allotment is owned by MIND and managed by The Home Group. We were able to bring together 6 local charities and businesses that are working together to make the community better for everyone. Thank you Horticap, you guys are amazing.”




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Love is in the air, part four: Mother of the Bride

One of our most regular customers wanted her daughter to have something extra special to carry down the aisle that she could keep to pass on to future generations. Using a variety of materials and embellishments from her own stash topped up with some extras from the Cone Exchange she created this beautiful horseshoe with her daughter’s name and the wedding date on the back. A truly beautiful and unique wedding gift.


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Love is in the air. Part two: Jo and Kevin

Jo is one of our best customers so it seems very fitting that her wedding to Kevin was a homemade vintage style celebration with lots of finishing touches from the Cone Exchange.

Jo says: ‘So much of this handmade wedding was made possible because of inspiration from The Cone Exchange. All the personal touches we could add because of it being handmade will be treasured forever – and also our family and friends got involved with the makes and that made it even more special. Below are just a few of the examples of what we made.’

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Love is in the air. Part one: Anna & Colin

Over the past few weeks we have had a number of customers visit the shop looking for inspiration for their weddings. Some are getting married soon, others have only just got engaged but all are looking for ideas and themes for their big day.  If you are looking for something different or are a keen recycler then we might just have some ideas for you. Look out for the next few installments all showing how you can recycle and repurpose Cone Exchange materials as part of your celebrations.

As you may remember from last Summer Anna shared snaps of her wedding planning using recycled materials from the Cone Exchange including beautiful handmade wedding invitations. Here are just a few of the lovely pictures she shared with us of her wedding day.

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Well Done Monty

We were thrilled to be part of one of our younger customers efforts in successfully applying for a Blue Peter ‘Green’ Badge. Monty had visited the Cone Exchange with his mum and took inspiration from the items that our volunteers had made from recycled materials. Taking away material and felt offcuts Monty created this lovely Blue Peter cushion and wrote a letter explaining where he had got the idea from.

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New Year clearout?

Many people take the opportunity to have a post-Christmas clear out. Once the decorations come down it’s time to clean up and take stock of what we no longer have a use for anymore. If this sounds familiar the Cone Exchange might be able to help!

If you are a keen crafter then any materials such as fabric, ribbon, wool, sewing or embroidery threads or tapestry supplies then we will find the best way to either re-sell or repurpose your donations. However there might be other items that you are wanting to clear out that other charities and social enterprises in the local area might be able to make good use of. Click  below for more places to recycle.

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Last call for Christmas

With only 12 sleeps to go till Christmas it’s almost time for the Cone Exchange to close for the school holidays. There is just one week for you to stock up on junk modelling materials for the kids or gift boxes for wrapping up your goodies. You may even have time for some last minute Christmas crafting like one of our crafty customers, Emma, who created this lovely festive wreath over the weekend.


The Cone Exchange will be closed from Thursday 15th December until Tuesday 3rd  January 2017.

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Christmas cheer

Christmas came early for Year 9 pupils at King James School, Knaresborough as they created their entry into the Christmas tree festival at St John’s church This year’s tree came with an unusual mesasage – recycling! Made with Cone Exchange materials the Christmas tree was to raise awareness of recycling at a time of year when so much packaging, wrapping paper and food is wasted.


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