In the face of the government’s plan to have a predator free New Zealand by 2050, Untouched World has begun exploring alternative fibres to possum. Among the options explored have been red deer, elk, wallaby, rabbit, marmot, tahr, and squirrel. There are approximately 35 million possums currently in the wild, with Untouched World trapping and recovering fur from 20,000 per week. However, to meet demand, this will need to be doubled.

“That’s 15 percent of the total population of possums removed annually, at no cost to the taxpayer,” said Peri Drysdale, founder, Untouched World.

However, alternatives are not easy to come by, with Drysdale experimenting with fur from the Australian wallaby which did not compare.

“Trying to find another fibre that’s as magic as possum is not easy,” said Drysdale.