Rural women keep it real for fashion label
ADRIFT clothing has taken to the Lockyer Valley to do a fashion shoot focusing on everyday rural and regional women.
Bec Pullar started the brand – which is designed to suit women of all ages, shapes and sizes – in 2012.
When the business was first conceived, Ms Pullar’s plan was to focus on women who were a bit disconnected, but she soon found her brand steering in the direction of women in rural and regional Australia.
“I really noticed the disconnection when I went from being a partner in a big law firm to being a stay-athome mum,” she said.
“I didn’t want to go back to being a lawyer and I had always loved fashion, so I decided to make a few tops and start a business.
“Then I decided I wanted to investigate the online stuff. And I thought ‘who would want to buy online?’
“Well, country women would want to buy online because they don’t have as many options to go into actual shops.”
Ms Pullar then decided to take her shop to the Ekka in 2013 and 2014.
In the first year she had
600 sign-ups for her online store, and in the second year
Adrift is now stocked in 250 stores across Australia, including stores in rural and regional towns such as Roma, Charleville, Toowoomba, Longreach and Gympie.
In 2017 Adrift had its first Every Woman campaign.
“We ran an Every Woman campaign last year and we collected and brought in women from all different walks of life,” Ms Pullar said.
“We had this beautiful woman who was 81 and always wanted to be a model. We shot her with her daughter.
“I wanted to take it rural this year because the very heart of our customer base is rural.
“It’s for women in the country who very rarely have a day off and rarely get to celebrate their femininity.”
This year’s Adrift spring/ summer Every Woman campaign was shot on Fordsdale Farm in the Lockyer Valley, with a variety of women in a variety of roles in regional communities.
“I said to the girls that I wanted to get real everyday women,” Ms Pullar said.
“I didn’t want just a marketing thing, I wanted it to be real.
“I wanted everyday, rural women.”
Cotton farmer, and founder of the Rural Business Collective, Fleur Anderson, was one of the women who participated in the photoshoot for the Adrift campaign.
Ms Anderson grew up on a cotton farm on the Darling Downs near Dalby, before
moving to Theodore to marry a cotton farmer and be part of their cotton operation.
She is also a director on the board for Cotton Australia.
As well as her work in the cotton industry and running a small business, she is also a mother to a nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son.
Ms Anderson said a photoshoot wasn’t something she would normally have on her calender.
“It was very different. I’ve never done anything like that before and it was a lot of fun,” she said.
“All the women were great. We very quickly bonded over that rural element and they were very welcoming.
“It was all very indulgent. It’s not very often women on small farms, who have businesses and small children, get the opportunity to do something like that.
“It was a day where there was hair and make-up and it was catered and there were lovely clothes to try on, and I got to meet all these other women.”
Ms Anderson said all the women she met during the shoot were doing something to service people in rural and regional communities.
“Rural women are the supporters and the drivers of so many things. I loved that Adrift was calling that out and celebrating it.”
Adrift is fundraising for Yellow Bridge, a not-for-profit disability support service in Toowoomba, with a percentage of all online purchases going to the organisation.
As part of the Every Woman campaign, the label will also be travelling to Roma and Orange to host a fashion parade fundraiser.
“We wanted to pick two areas that would reflect our brand. Roma was one because they’re suffering so much in the drought and there are incredibly strong women out there,” Ms Pullar said.
“We’re also going to Orange to put on a fashion show out there. We’re going to fundraise on the night for a charity of the community’s choice.
“It’s a celebration of rural women and the label that loves them.”
RURAL FASHION: Cotton farmer Fleur Anderson was part of the Adrift 2018 spring/summer Every Woman campaign.
Nicole Schneider (nurse), Jenni Eyles (ambassador), Araminta Pearce (disability support worker), Fleur Anderson (cotton farmer), Judy Lindsay (youth support worker) and Sue Renfree (farmer and farmstay owner).
EVERYDAY WOMEN: Judy Lindsay (youth support worker), Sue Renfree (farmer and farmstay owner), Jenni Eyles (ambassador), Araminta Pearce (disability support worker), Fleur Anderson (cotton farmer) and Nicole Schneider (nurse).