Amano means ‘by hand’
Since 1988, we’ve been working with incredible artisans to bring you
ethically handmade, fair-trade knitwear.
Our Ecuadorian knitters have been with us for over 40 years, and even though they work high up in the mountains of Carchi we feel extremely close to them. They are without doubt the most talented members of the Amano family, as it takes them countless hours and years of experience to produce our knitwear.
Amano is for colour lovers and free spirits who want fashion with a human connection. That’s why if you look at our garment tags, you’ll find the name of the exact knitter who handmade your Amano piece. This is clothing with a soul.
Our founders James and Michelle first travelled to South America in 1988. After a stint teaching English in Brazil, James decided to explore Bolivia and Ecuador and was blown away by the amazing jumpers he saw the locals knitting by hand.
He took home as many jumpers as he could fit in his backpack, and began selling them at St-Martin-In-The-Fields market. People loved them and with the help of Miquel (a mischievous American who had made Ecuador his second home) he commissioned the knitters to make lots and lots more jumpers.
James then met Yumiko, a Japanese artist who lived in Bolivia, who had an amazing eye of colour and fashion. She became the creative force behind Amano and helped launch several of our best-selling designs, including our iconic sunflower and daisy pattern jumpers.
We continued to sell jumpers on Portobello Road and Camden market, before being scouted by a buyer. Soon we were on the shelves of Selfridges and Liberty London, Neiman Marcus and Barneys in the US and Itesan in Japan.
Since then, everyone from the likes of Snoop Dogg to the little boy in About A Boy have worn Amano jumpers. We’ve even received thanks on a Jamiroquai album, who credited Amano with ‘always keeping them warm’.
Today, we are proud to say that we still work with the same Ecuadorian knitters to create our new collections. We continue to provide them with consistent work, so they can support their community and keep their cultural heritage alive.
Inspired by our past, but always looking forward, we are constantly innovating and becoming more ethical whenever we can. We now dye our own unspun yarn sourced from Peru in small batches to reduce waste, and work only with low impact dyes to further minimise any impact on the planet.
We are lucky to still have many of the same customers we did 40 years ago, but welcome new ones too.
So, whether you have loved Amano all your life, had a piece passed down to you, or want to start your own collection, we welcome you into our family.