George the Farmer x Iris & Wool Collaboration

George the Farmer x Iris & Wool Collaboration

Two South Australian brands known for their dedication to promoting Australian agriculture and quality materials have collaborated together to create an exquisite children's knit.

The idea for the collaboration arose during a chance encounter at the South Australian AgriFutures Rural Women's Award announcement last year between Simone Kain, founder of George the Farmer, the 2017 national runner-up for the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award, and Emily Riggs, founder of Iris & Wool, and a South Australian state finalist for the awards in 2023.

Simone said their meeting at the awards sparked a conversation about their shared passion for agriculture, marketing, and collaboration, ultimately culminating in the creation of this unique children's knit.

"I was at the rural women's award announcement in South Australia last year, and Emily was one of the finalists. I went up and spoke to her having followed her journey for quite a while now, and was really inspired by her products and wanted to reach out and say g'day and congratulations," recalls Simone. 

"It wasn't long into speaking with her that we realised we had quite a bit in common; we're creating our own products, we've got our own businesses in retail, and we both have love of the land. We started tossing around the idea of a collaboration, which I thought was perfect.

"We're both creatives, so we've brought together a few ideas. Emily has that background of working with the wool and knowing how the jumper is going to sit the best and with a certain design. And then from that, I did the graphic design work on the swing tags and the neck labels, and did all the communications, releasing a media release and the e-newsletter content.

"It was a really it was a great collaboration."

Simone has experience with successful partnerships and collaborations, and believes the most important factor in a successful collaboration is shared values.

"I think for a collaboration to be successful, you need to have the same values. You don't necessarily have to have the same vision at all, but I think the same values are really important.

"And there needs to be some sort of crossover with your target audience. My audience are children, but really they're grandparents and parents. So for them to see value in the other collaborators' products is really important.

"Obviously our [George the Farmer and Iris & Wool] followers love agriculture, love the land, love the farm, love Australian-made and produced wool. So Emily was a natural fit because she is regionally based, she's a woman in business, and she's producing these beautiful products that are for children as well."

Simone encourages more rural businesses to seek out collaborations that can further enhance their brand.

"Definitely more rural businesses need to collaborate. It's such a perfect way to cross-pollinate your audiences with other brands that they will enjoy and and be appreciative of being introduced to. It's just so mutually beneficial. It doesn't really have to cost anything at all."

Emily's label, Iris & Wool, is now in its eight season and recently stocked at David Jones.

As a mother of two, Emily has always admired the educational mission of George the Farmer brand. Emily says, collaborating with Simone on this project has been incredibly rewarding.

"Together, we're not only creating beautiful fashion, but also inspiring children to learn about agriculture and appreciate the beauty of Australian Merino wool," says Emily.

Crafted from premium Woolmark certified Australian Merino wool, the children's knit embodies the spirit and look of George the Farmer.

The limited edition piece is available exclusively online at George The Farmer and Iris & Wool. You'll also find it in their retail stores in Burra and Penola, South Australia.

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