Possum New Zealand

It is called possum, o’possum, brushtail, paihamu or even Trichosurus Vulpecula. Discover how we’ve turned a disadvantage into an advantage in creating a demand for an ecological pest in the marketing of our Eco Fur products.

The Brushtail Possum

The Brushtail Possum fur has a hollow fibre to ensure that all products are ultra warm. Available in a myriad of different natural and dyed colors, as well as oiled and hand painted reversible finishes, there is something for everyone in the Possum New Zealand Eco-Fur Collection.


The Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula) was introduced to New Zealand from Australia about 150 years ago in the misguided hope of establishing fur farms in this country.  The possums infiltrated our lush green forests of New Zealand and threatens one of our major industries: forestry; as it eats newly formed shoots in saplings thus destroying or stunting tree growth. 

Nocturnal marsupial mammals, Brushtail Possums are about 50cm long, with grey or brown fur, sharp claws and a bushy tail. After gestation, the young live in the mothers pouch for around 4 months. The elongated name for the possum is "o'possum" and the Maori word is "paihamu". It is not to be confused with the American possum which is a different animal.

The Environmental Impact

A prolific breeder, the Brushtail Possum has become the greatest threat to New Zealand’s native flora. Numbers 13 years ago were estimated at 70 million, and they devoured 8 million tonnes of vegetation annually. That equated to 20,000 tonnes (or 4000 truckloads) every night! As at 2013 we believe that there are now only 30 million left.

In addition to competing for food, Brushtail Possum’s also eat or destroy the eggs and chicks of endangered native birds and are spreaders of Tuberculosis.

Such has been the ecological impact of this foreign species, it is illegal to farm possums in New Zealand and they are considered an environmental pest. This is in contrast to Australia where this species is protected.

Action taken to Protect the Environment

The Department of Conservation in conjunction with central and local governments has spent millions of dollars trying to contain the problem, through  controversial 1080 air drops, humane trapping or baiting. However, full eradication will never be possible.

In addition, harvesters are collecting the animals for processing by tanneries, and it is from this non-farmed source that Possum New Zealand sources its premium grade hides. All fur has been harvested from the wild.

Utilizing a National Pest

Wear New Zealand believes that a commercially driven approach is an effective way of minimising this problem. We have developed an innovative Possum fur range of funky, colourful garments, hats, scarves, bags and accessories, in a myriad of finishes and hues. We make these uniquely New Zealand products by designing and branding under the well known label of  "Possum New Zealand."

Wear your possum fashion with pride: “Buy a Possum and save a forest!”

Click here to watch a video of Wear New Zealand's work with Possums.