Amy Twigger Holroyd

Amy Twigger Holroyd

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Fashion, knitwear and textile design

Role

Amy is a member of the Design, Culture and Context team within the Fashion, Knitwear and Textile Design department. She teaches across the BA fashion, knitwear and textiles programmes, with a particular link to the BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles course. She also contributes to the MA in Culture, Style and Fashion.

Amy is an active researcher, working on projects at the intersection of fashion, making, design and sustainability. Overall, her work aims to question the seemingly inextricable link between fashion and consumption and contribute to the development of alternative, more open models of fashion activity.

Career overview

After studying for a BA and MA in fashion and textile design, Amy launched her experimental knitwear label, Keep & Share, in 2004. She has sold her knitwear nationally and internationally, exhibited extensively and received a number of awards, including the Crafts Council Development Award in 2005. Amy‘s work has been featured in many publications, from Vogue to Fashion Theory, and in books including Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys by Kate Fletcher, The Culture of Knitting by Jo Turney, and Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft by Sandy Black. She has given guest lectures and seminars nationally and internationally since 2006.

Amy has several years’ experience of teaching fashion and textiles at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Worcester, with many projects drawing particularly on her expertise in knitwear and design for sustainability.

Research areas

Between 2010 and 2013, Amy undertook a full-time PhD at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. This research explored amateur fashion making – which she describes as ‘folk fashion’ – as a strategy for sustainability. More specifically, the study investigated re-knitting: the use of knitting techniques to rework existing knitted garments. Amy’s doctoral research informed her monograph, Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes (I.B.Tauris, 2017). The practical strand of this work culminated in a solo exhibition, Units of Possibility: The Reknit Revolution, at Rugby Art Gallery in Summer 2017, and an associated website.

From 2014 to 2016 Amy was a postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Design at the University of Leeds, working on Design Routes. This 3-year project, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and led by Professor Martyn Evans (Manchester Metropolitan University), investigates the role of design in revitalising traditional craft processes and place-related products and patterns. A major output from this research is a co-edited book, Design Roots: Local Products and Practices in a Globalized World (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018).

In the past Amy has led skills development projects focusing on creative research methods (funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, 2012-13) and public engagement (funded by the University of Leeds, 2014-15). She also co-organised The Emperor’s New Clothes, a conference which brought together academia and industry to explore a sustainable future for fashion and textiles.

Amy’s current research interests include the connection of fashion theory with sustainable fashion, and the exploration of alternative fashion scenarios inspired by fictional devices. Overall, she uses design and making to apply, explore and generate new ways of thinking about fashion. She welcomes enquiries from people interested in research collaboration or PhD supervision.

External activity

  • External examiner, MA Textiles / MA Surface Pattern, University of Wales Trinity St David (2017-2021)
  • Invited peer reviewer for Culture Costume and Dress conference, Birmingham City University (2017)
  • Invited peer reviewer for Research Through Design conference (2017)
  • Invited session chair, Circular Transitions conference, University of the Arts London (2016)
  • Invited panel chair, AlgoMech festival research symposium (2016)
  • Invited peer reviewer for Craft Research journal (2014–)
  • Member of Design Research Society (2010–)

Press expertise

  • Fashion and sustainability
  • design and sustainability
  • amateur making (mending, knitting, sewing)
  • homemade clothes
  • traditional crafts