Photography by Jonathan Hamilton @jonhamilton19
I am a designer, maker, researcher and writer working at the intersection of fashion, design, craft and sustainability.

I have been actively exploring the relationship between fashion and sustainability since 2004, when I founded my experimental craft fashion knitwear label, Keep & Share.

Overall, my 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.

I am a board member and treasurer of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion.

I studied for a PhD at Birmingham City University from 2010 to 2013. Entitled Folk Fashion: Amateur Re-knitting as a Strategy for Sustainability, this work utilised a participatory workshop-based methodology to generate new insights about experiences of making, remaking and fashion. 

The research formed the basis of my first book, Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes, published by I.B.Tauris in 2017.

The practical side of the project developed into Reknit Revolution, an ongoing initiative supporting knitters to rework the items in their wardrobes. This work was showcased at a major solo exhibition at Rugby Museum & Art Gallery, also in 2017.

My current research explores the potential of fictional storyworlds to help us imagine alternatives to today’s consumerist and ultra-wasteful fashion system.

A related project, funded by Nottingham Trent University’s Scholarship Projects for Undergraduate Researchers scheme in 2019, developed a ‘fashion tarot’ methodology to investigate young people’s experiences of fashion today, their perceptions of the fashion system in the past and their expectations for the future. 

I am building on a key concept from Folk Fashion to further develop notions of the commons in relation to fashion and craft, and working to make productive connections between fashion theory and the field of fashion and sustainability.

I am Co-Investigator of a network, Stitching Together, which is fostering critical dialogue around participatory textile making methods in research and practice. A collaboration with Dr Emma Shercliff, the network is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

I recently co-edited a book, Fashion Knitwear Design, with my colleague Helen Hill. The chapters are written by the team of specialists (including Helen and me) who deliver Nottingham Trent University’s highly respected fashion knitwear design courses. 

From 2014 to 2016 I was a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leeds working on Design Routes, a collaborative research project funded by the AHRC.

Design Routes aimed to explore how design can make a meaningful contribution in developing and revitalising culturally significant designs, products and practices to make them relevant to the needs of people today. A co-edited book, Design Roots: Culturally Significant Designs, Products, and Practices, was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018.

Other past projects include:
Creative Research Methods, a skills development project funded by the AHRC
- a research residency at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery showcased in this short film
Curious Encounters, a public engagement project and interactive pop-up exhibition
Emperor’s New Clothes, a conference on fashion and sustainability
- participatory knitting projects in a diverse range of settings