Unlike synthetic fur, which is a petroleum-based product, natural New Zealand Possum Fur is a sustainable, ecologically friendly fur that is produced as a by-product of the New Zealand government’s sixty year campaign to reduce possum numbers.
The brushtail possum is an introduced pest that does appalling damage to New Zealand’s natural flora and fauna. Since the 1940s, realising the increasing damage caused, the New Zealand government has worked tirelessly to reduce possum numbers, but there remain over thirty million possums in the wild, eating an estimated 21,000 tonnes of native bush every night.
Until the early 1990s this fur was destroyed – until it was discovered that it could be blended with premium New Zealand Merino wool to produce one of the most luxurious and warm natural materials on the planet.
In 1992, a collaboration between a farmer and local knitter in Wanganui, New Zealand, led to groundbreaking research on the brushtail possum fibre. In the same year, Fazil Khan, a fellow of the Textile Institute, developed the process for blending and spinning possum fibre and merino wool.
Some twenty years on, New Zealand possum merino manufacturers have achieved world-class sophistication in their fifth-generation possum and merino blends.
This is a material that looks and feels luxurious, while retaining the near miraculous qualities of both possum and merino – qualities that synthetic fibres will never achieve. That’s why wearing possum merino is a life-changing experience – as well as one that safeguards the future of New Zealand’s unique natural environment.