The Brushtail Possum is a small animal introduced to New Zealand from Australia in the mid 1800s. It is nocturnal and is found in bushland and forests all over New Zealand.
Possum fur is amazingly light and has superior warmth - the hollow fibres are like those of a polar bear. By adding possum fibre to merino wool an incredible textile is created that feels like cashmere but is actually warmer and longer-lasting due to its resistance to pilling. The combination of Merino Wool and Possum Fibre is unique to New Zealand.
Unfortunately the Brushtail Possum is considered a threat to New Zealand's native flora and fauna which is why the government actively culls the population - it numbers in the millions (source).
By buying possum fibre garments you're helping to conserve the native forests of New Zealand.
Picture by Phil Botha, New Zealand Fern.