iris + wool launches

Emily Riggs, of Burra, with her son modelling one of the jumpers.

Emily Riggs, of Burra, with her son modelling one of the jumpers.

A clothing label which ticks all the boxes for comfort, style, made in Australia and environmentally friendly has been created by Emily Riggs in Burra.

With a passion for high-end fashion, a love of wool and a gap in the market for luxury clothing and exclusive woollen garments, Ms Riggs created iris + wool.

Married to a Merino sheep breeder and with an 18-month-old son at home, Ms Riggs felt she needed her own side hustle.

This was when iris + wool was born.

All of the label's products are manufactured in Australia, using environmentally friendly techniques, and celebrate the superior quality of the nation's wool.

The brand's name highlights its use of 100 per cent Merino wool and also honours Ms Riggs' late mother, who loved irises.

Ms Riggs has designed four pieces for iris + wool's first collection: a feedwear singlet which can also be worn for non-breastfeeding ladies and three different styles of jumper.

"The label name includes iris as a tribute to my mum because irises were one of her favourite flowers," Ms Riggs said.

"As a mother, I found there was a gap in the market for what I call 'feed-wear' and so I've designed a singlet to wear under garments for those mums who want to look chic while breastfeeding."

In keeping with the natural theme of the brand, Ms Riggs chose a Melbourne-based manufacturer who uses state-of-the-art technology that doesn't produce any wastage.

iris + wool has been created just outside of Burra, made in Australia from Australian wool and is environmentally friendly in its production.

iris + wool has been created just outside of Burra, made in Australia from Australian wool and is environmentally friendly in its production.

"They can produce a garment in one entire piece, which ultimately results in no waste during the manufacturing process," she said.

"The pieces are high quality and easy to wash. You will be able to look stylish and wear the items for many years because it won't go out of fashion."

She attributes her determination to succeed in business from having overcome great adversity as a child.

At aged 10, Ms Riggs was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Around the same time, her mother died of breast cancer.

"Having cancer made me grow up and become independent and really look after myself," she said.

"It definitely made me a stronger person."

Growing up in the country also fed Ms Riggs' love of rural life, particularly riding horses.

She said using wool in the iris + wool range makes sense because it's such a versatile fabric, which breathes well and is being used in more types of clothing, even active wear.

"Later on, I would like to add skirts, pants and maybe active wear to the collection and I plan to have new designs each autumn/winter and spring/summer season," she said.

"My aim is to keep growing the business and, at first, I will be selling it Australia-wide through my online store."

Ms Riggs said her dream was to open a iris + wool store and to get the products into small, high-end boutiques.

She also hoped people enjoyed wearing her designs just as much as she loves creating them.

"I just love how fashion can make you feel good and you can experiment with different pieces," she said.

"It's fun to play with fashion and bring out your personality."

The first collection for iris + wool is available for now, via the website: here or instore at Oak + Elm Clare SA.