We’re always told to buy local and sustainable and here at Beauty News we want to highlight some amazing Aussie businesses.
Iris & Wool is a South Australian based fashion brand run by Emily Riggs. We spoke to her about her journey to creating her fashion business and passion for Australian merino wool as well as her plans for her brand’s future.
Growing up in country South Australia, Emily had a passion for fashion! Life wasn’t easy for Emily though. After her mother passed away from breast cancer, she realised the power of fashion to express one’s identity and personality!
“I’ve always loved high-end fashion and putting outfits together, even as a young girl.”
– Emily Riggs
After marrying her husband and moving to Burra in SA to run a merino sheep farm together and just one year after the birth of their first born son, Sammy, in 2019, Emily launched “Iris & Wool”.
With a passion for high-quality designer clothing and a love of Australian merino wool, Emily’s brand Iris & Wool was born. This lifestyle brand showcases the journey from farm to fashion and the beauty of Australian merino.
Iris & Wool is much more than a fashion brand. Emily also strives, in everything she does, to give back to the community. Not just by using local merino wool, but by giving back through every purchase. This was extremely important to Emily. By giving 5% of every purchase made through Iris & Wool to the McGrath Foundation, she was able to support a national charity that provides breast cancer support, in honour of her mother.
Whilst talking with Emily, she expressed that a key feature and highlight of Iris & Wool is their use of 100% certified Australian merino wool, with no blends or synthetics. “I am in the process of hopefully being able to use our own wool in my collections, it’s not as easy as it sounds!” When talking about the future of Iris & Wool, Emily said that she hoped the brand would become global, continuing to have a passion for Australian merino wool, sharing it’s beauty around the world.
Running a business isn’t without its challenges! As a rural, community based brand, connecting with customers and sharing Iris & Wool’s journey through social media is crucial. Influencers such as Elle Ferguson, Mia Freedman, and Catriona Rowntree have all endorsed Emily’s label, helping to continue the brand’s reach. COVID-19 has also had an impact on Iris & Wool as it caused factory closures, shipping delays and stockists closures. However Emily shared that instead of accepting defeat, she “turned my focus to what I was still able to control”, this included creating new products and ensuring great experiences for customers.
Not only do Iris & Wool have beautiful, timeless designs, they have an inspiring passion for local materials. Buying local made products is a great way to help grow Australian businesses, so why not check out Iris & Wool and support one of our great local businesses!
Visit their online store or stop by any of their 20+ stockists around Australia!