FAQ's

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What you've always wanted to know but were too scared to ask...
 

Everyday Questions and Answers
(click here for the Seriously Whacky Questions & Answers)

Q:  Are possums farmed in New Zealand?

A:  No way!  It is against the law to breed them, farm them or even keep them as pets as they are an environmental pest.  As such, they can only be found in the wild.  The Department of Conservation is trying to get rid of them, not multiply them!  Not only that:  150 years ago, some bright sparks imported them from Australia to try to farm them but they could not be contained and went forth, multiplied and ate their way through our forests!   No, they are not farmed and presumably impossible of being farmed.

 

Q:  How many possums are there in New Zealand?

A: About 13 years ago, when our Company was first established, it was thought there were 70 million.  The numbers have radically declined to an estimated 35 million due to conservation efforts and demand for this resource.

 

Q:  Will the possums ever be eradicated in New Zealand?

A:  Very unlikely - the goal is to control their numbers.

 

Q: Can you supply a container lot of possum skins at once?

A:  No. Possums are harvested from the wild as they are not farmed so no one in New Zealand could ever find and  process that sort of quantity  -  it is a  shrinking resource as the possum numbers are in decline.  Therefore, supplying in ongoing bulk is not possible.  Instead, we encourage the purchasing of value added items from our Company for the goods to be marketed as elitist, limited edition products.

 

Q:  What makes possum fur so unique?

A:  Possum Fur can only be sourced from New Zealand to be manufactured into fashion or homeware items as this species is protected in Australia from where they originated.
The hair follicle is hollow shafted which means the fur retains maximum warmth.  It is one of the warmest fibres in the world.
Possum fur is eco fur. You are doing the environment a favour when you wear it.

 

Q:  Is the New Zealand Possum the same as the American Possum?

A:  No. The Virginia or American possum is not the same as the Brushtail NZ Possum. They are 2 totally separate animals. Please click here to read about the New Zealand Possum.

 

Q: Can you make me an item that is not on your website?

A:  Yes, we do a lot of custom work for private individuals as well as for Fashion Companies or other Designers.  We can tailor make coats or jackets, make non standard sized throws or rugs.  We can also re-produce garments from a sample or a picture.  Send us your specs for an estimate or quote.

 

Q:  Can I come and order direct from your workroom?

A:  Yes, we are based in CBD Auckland and we would ask you to phone for an appointment beforehand.  Click here for details.

 

Q:  Do I have to pay any duty in my country if I buy your possum fur products?

A:  Extremely unlikely.  Duty is normally imposed by a Government as a protectionist measure if a local industry will be affected.  As NZ is the only place where you can source eco possum fur items, our products are totally unique and hence do not compete with anything else. While your Government will most probably impose NO DUTY, it may apply clearance costs or local sales tax (eg: GST, VAT) on any goods (of any nature) over a certain threshold that you purchase online.

 

Q:  Do I have to pay duty on any of your non-possum fur products?

A:  It may be best to make you own enquiries as every country has its own laws on duties and/or sales tax. To assist, here are some popular links:
UK Customs | Japanese Customs | Australian Customs

Also see our Customs & Import Duties page.

 

Q: Are my goods insured when you send them?

A: Yes, you are fully protected.

 

Q:  What other animals do you manufacture from?

A: We manufacture from hides that are typically by-products of the Food Industry that were in the past subject to being discarded but are now utilised as renewable and sustainable resources. 

      New Zealand Babylamb (“casualties of nature”)
      New Zealand Friesian Cow Skin 
      New Zealand Deerskin
      South American Alpaca (“casualties of nature”) value added by us in New Zealand
      Curly Lamb (aka Tibetan or Mongolian lamb) valued added by us in New Zealand.

 

Q:  How do you clean fur or skins?

A:  Please refer to our care instructions here.

 

Seriously Whacky Questions & Answers

Here is a series of frequently asked questions that Ms Possum receives on a regular basis. We’re sharing with you the hissily sarcastic answers Ms Possum is tempted to give and then the politically correct answers which we actually provide.

After all, Ms Possum is an amiable creature with impeccable manners, even though her talons are known to spring out from time to time in a kinaesthetic response to the following common queries:

 

Q: How do you shear a possum to get the fur for your knitted garments ?

possum with hair curlersWRONG ANSWER: We have specially designed salons in which the Possums sit down with a cuppa tea and the latest gossip mags. We gently clip them with the trendiest of style, finishing off with a delicate blow wave and if necessary, straightening irons for those stubborn curls. We even throw in a free manicure to boot. Then we make appointments for six weeks later when the fur has grown again and we need to repeat the same process.

RIGHT ANSWER: They’re not like sheep, dahlings! They, ahem, have to be mercifully despatched first and then hand plucked while still warm. Forget about those plucking machines too – it’s far too rough a process for our liking.

Bright Red Possum

 

Q: Do the possums come from the wild in those bright colours?

WRONG ANSWER 1: Yes, we put food colouring in their feed to turn their coats into bright red, flouro pink and even lime green! We just go through heaps of cochineal and jelly crystals!

WRONG ANSWER 2: Yes, they are the result of genetic modification.

RIGHT ANSWER: Wear New Zealand dyes the Possum hides in 17 different colours from their natural state.

 

Possum in Ceiling

Q: We’ve got a possum trapped up in the ceiling. What can you do about it?

WRONG ANSWER: Well, you’ve obviously called the right company. We’ll just send our senior stylist down and while it’s not in her job description, she can catch it for you in her high heels and for a little extra, convert it into a fashion scarf. Yep, it’s a one-stop-shop here.

RIGHT ANSWER: Try Pest Control.

 

Q: We’ve just run over a possum. Do you want it?Roadkill

WRONG ANSWER: Yeah, we want it like a hole in the head. We’ll scrape it off the road for you, then gut and de-flesh it as the pet dog would love a menu change. Our landlords would also love us to death for causing a sanguinary mess within a CBD building as our Body Corporate rules specifically preclude us from using the premises as an abattoir. We’ll then dry the hide out and make it into something fit for a horror movie. Yeah, why wouldn’t we want it?!

RIGHT ANSWER: There’s actually about 47 stages of processing between capture and when Possum NZ gets the tanned, dressed and dyed hides. That’s why we have to go through our Tannery to obtain the best luxury quality hides. But thanks all the same.

 

 

Q: What do you have in the way of steel radials?

WRONG ANSWER: Obviously you cannot read a phone book. What have we got to do with the automotive industry?

RIGHT ANSWER: You probably want Possum Bourne, the company named after the famous NZ Rally car driver. If you look in the New Zealand phone book, he’s the listing above Possum New Zealand.

 

Phone Book

Q: How much to send a parcel to Christchurch?

WRONG ANSWER: Obviously you can’t read a phone book either. Are we all blind today?

RIGHT ANSWER: You have punched in the wrong last digit of New Zealand Post’s 0800 number and got Possum NZ instead (0800NZPOSSUM). Please refer to the phone book.

 

 

Q: I am Rev Elisha Godwin from Nigeria (names change with each identical query). We are setting up orphanages in our country and want to order your possum rugs and cushions. Can we pay by VISA over the phone and we’ll get the goods picked up direct from your factory by our own shippers?

Credit CardWRONG ANSWER: Yeah, like we were born yesterday. How absolutely generous of you to treat these poor orphans with such high ticket products that only the well-to-do can afford in western countries. We know they’ll just appreciate the thermal qualities of our possum throws in the 40-degree heat of Africa. And of course you can pay thousands of dollars on a stolen credit card over the phone because we just love losing money during a Recession and yes, we’re that stupid here in New Zealand that we’ll fall for any hard luck story. Although if you truly are a Reverend, doesn’t the Bible say: “Thou shalt not steal”!

RIGHT ANSWER: Sorry, our banks have advised us not to deal with Nigeria.

 

Q: We are a company from China – can you supply a container load of possum skins each week for our fur factories?Possum Fur Shipping containers

WRONG ANSWER: You’re having me on, right? Wish I could do that as I’d be a rich woman!!

RIGHT ANSWER: Sorry, New Zealand is only a small country and the infrastructure does not allow anywhere near those quantities even if everyone combined their resources. We would rather sell you our value added goods made here in New Zealand for you to market as elitist, limited edition products back in China.

 

Q: OK, you can’t supply container of possum skins to China every week – what about other animals? We’re not fussy – we just have to have a container load – any animals will do.

WRONG ANSWER: Well I know the SPCA always has spare animals to give away and yeah sure, I could round up a few thousand stray cats and dogs in my spare time as well.

RIGHT ANSWER: Sorry, we can’t help you here. As explained above, we suggest you purchase fully made-up possum fur items from us and resell in China for good prices due to limited raw material availability.

Wear New Zealand Designer Collection

We design and make from natural renewable resources. In a world of mass production, it is nice to know there is a company that still employs handcrafting in its manufacturing process to obtain the highest possible quality. Select from indigenous NZ eco fur, blended merino knitwear in jackets & sweaters, as well as a selection of luxurious fur throws, and much more. Choose from any of our brands below:

 

Luxurious possum fur throws & fashion from a NZ environmental pest. Rugs, Boots and more from spotty NZ Friesian cow skins. The finest NZ Babylamb garments, Mongolian lamb accessories and much more NZ made fashion from Alpaca fleece.

 

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