In New Zealand there’s an expression that Possumdown calls "Kiwi ingenuity." It’s based on an attitude of wasting nothing and making the most of things. It’s about taking the ordinary and turning it into something great. It’s the same attitude that brought us famous Kiwis like famous scientist Ernest Rutherford, and the story of Possumdown is a beautiful example of that very same Kiwi ingenuity. It all started in 1991, when farmer Bob Powell and his wife Helen had a fantastically wild idea: use the fur of rampant, Australian-native possums (which the NZ government invests $100 million a year on to control) for ultra-plush, ultra-durable apparel. With a little bit of help from some friends, Bob Powell created the first brushtail possum/merino fabric, laying the textile foundations for Possumdown to blossom from.
A brushtail possum's fur is composed of hollow, breathable fibres much like a polar bear's coat. It's also very water resistant, unbelievably light-weight and so soft even babies can wear it. If Possumdown could send the brushtails all back to Australia where they came from, they probably would, but they'd need an army to do that. So the talented East Tamake tailors carry on the task of weaving invasive species into textile innovation, one sock at a time.