Keep & Share is an experimental knitwear label and open craft practice run by designer, maker and researcher Amy Twigger Holroyd.
Through the label, I explore the relationship between fashion, making, design and sustainability.
I launched Keep & Share in 2004, making collections of 'craft fashion' knitwear. Over the years my work has evolved: I have become involved in supporting other people's making, creating experimental pieces for exhibition, and academic research.
You can read more about the past of Keep & Share here. Today, I use Keep & Share as a banner for all of my design, making and research work. Right now, that mainly involves:
This is all happening at a slower pace than in the past, because I'm working as a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leeds on a three-year project, Design Routes.
In principle, I also make knitwear to commission for individual customers, from the Keep & Share archive - but I'm currently taking a break from this until the end of my maternity leave, in spring 2016.
My practice and research are intertwined: all of my activities are guided by my interest in the relationship between sustainability and the stuff - particularly clothing - that surrounds us, and the potential benefits of bringing making closer to use. You can read more about my current thinking here.
In practical terms I mainly explore these ideas through hand knitting, machine knitting and crochet, which allow me to feed my fascination with the endless ingenuity of the knitted structure.
In this section, you can read about the strands of my practice which led me to the idea of bringing making closer to use. You can also read (and watch) the story of the first ten years of Keep & Share, which explains the development of my ideas about fashion and sustainability in much more detail.
My sustainable fashion philosophy is based around longevity and versatility (keeping and sharing). We could get more ‘goodness’ from each garment if we kept pieces longer, and shared them by handing down or wearing in different ways. You can read more about this philosophy in Keep & Share: the first ten years.
I gather all of my activities under the holistic banner of Keep & Share, partly in recognition of the fact that much of my work is about a wider community of makers: ‘us’ rather than ‘me’. The historical traditions and communal nature of knitting culture can be seen as another interpretation of keeping and sharing.