Amy Twigger Holroyd is a UK designer, maker and researcher specialising in knitting, participation and sustainability. Her diverse craft activities take place under the umbrella of her ‘slow fashion’ knitwear label, Keep & Share.
Several UK makers use craft skills, materials knowledge and an intimate understanding of the connections between people and objects to engage with the sustainability agenda. An appreciation of materials interaction and the power of materials in human emotion and narrative are brought together by Amy Twigger Holroyd, who works in textiles to promote long-lasting and meaningful relationships between people and objects, as a basis for sustainable consumption. Amy’s Keep & Share knitwear collection is designed to encourage people to ‘buy less, more special pieces, and to keep their items in use for longer’. The collection is made to age slowly and gracefully, employing high-quality yarns selected for tactility and a design ethos that aims for ‘unconventional familiarity’ rather than responsiveness to trends. Utilising specialist craft knowledge in its use of machine knitting techniques, the collection also draws on Amy’s understanding of people’s interactions with clothing – over the product lifecycle – to promote longevity of use through its versatility in being designed to be worn ‘in different ways and by different people over their lifetimes.’
Amy recognises the complexity of people’s relationship with the making process and the hand-made object, and in her business seeks to provide a range of ways in which people build their own story around their purchase, strengthening the emotional connection they feel with their chosen item. The collection sells in different formats: as finished items purchased online, through retail outlets and at Amy’s stall at festivals, as kits including patterns, wool and knitting needles, and as patterns for digital download.
Amy’s workshops also encourage people to adapt existing patterns, employing techniques such as ‘stitch hacking’ and ‘pattern blagging’ to build people’s confidence in producing objects in a personalised way which feeds emotional ownership. Amy’s work demonstrates a particular role for the maker’s understanding of the material world and the dynamic between people and objects, in contributing to design for sustainability.