Why possum fur is an ecological choice
“In an age of “slow”, eco, sustainable fashion, in which heritage has become the watchword, fur can boast an ancestry of 100,000 years. It is a natural, renewable, biodegradable resource. In contrast, most fake furs are made from petroleum-based products derived from non-renewable resources. There is a tradition of fur being handed down and restyled through generations, rather less so with fast fashion substitutes.” Hannah Betts, Guardian Newspaper
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The possum was introduced into New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur industry. NZ was possum paradise. With no natural predators the possum population exploded, stripping trees to the point of killing them, consuming the equivalent of three football fields of native vegetation, bird eggs and chicks per night. Helicopter flights over the vast bush countryside reveal dying tree canopies at the jaws of the possum. Its current population, in a country the size of the UK, is estimated at 60-90 million.
The Possum is recognised by The World Conversation Unions (IUCN), the New Zealand Government and many other ecological groups as a serious threat to New Zealand’s biodiversity and a major ecological catastrophe; it features in the world’s 100 invasive species lists. As a prolific vector for spreading bovine tuberculosis it is also a major threat to agriculture.
The Possum is absent from the Washington Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). There are no restrictions on the culling, transport or fabrication of the species (trichosurus vulpecula) anywhere in the world. The now thriving possum industry may be the only chance to re-establish the New Zealand’s delicate and unique environmental balance.
Faced with massive destruction of its huge forested areas, New Zealand is providing a sustainable solution; the humane reduction of the Australian Possum is the only way to resolve this urgent ecological crisis. A small cottage industry in fur pelts and wool mixed with possum fur fibre has developed, and a number of New Zealand companies are exporting possum carcasses to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia for human consumption where possum is regarded as a delicacy and known as Kiwi bear.
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Qualities of Possum Fur
Possum fur is incredibly silky and soft. The secret of possum fur’s silky guard hairs is they are hollow, a quality shared only with the polar bear, making them incredibly soft. Being hollow these guard hairs also give possum Fur extraordinarily good thermal properties making it one of the world’s warmest furs plus making it desirably light in weight. Under the guard hairs lies a down of the softest and thick dense under-wool. This under-wool also contributes to the magical thermal properties of the possum luxurious Fur. Opossum fur retains its warmth, just feel the warmth in the fur when you take off your scarf and your possum Fur hot water bottle cover will still be warm in the morning.
Possum Fur Accessories
Celia Lindsell has designed a range of Possum fur accessories for both women and men. Once you realise the ecological issues regarding Possum Fur you will be able to wear it comfortably. (Please read ‘Possum Fur – an ecological choice’ above) There is no doubt the extra warmth wearing Possum Fur will give you.
The collection includes fur shawls, fur wrist warmers and scarves. The Possum Fur scarf will put paid to uncomfortably cold necks and give both women and men a natural elegance. The Possum Fur shawls created by Celia Lindsell are a must have accessory. The fur shawl can be worn over a shirt or light jumper to smarten up casual evening wear or be worn draped over the shoulders finishing off the most elegant evening dresses. The fur wrist warmers are the height of elegance and so cosy too.
We have also designed a collection of evening bags made from fur. They are smart, elegant and just the right size for an evening out. Special evening bags area treat for birthdays and Christmas.
Possum Fur – for Interior Design
Being enveloped in the soft warmth of this possum fur has to be the ultimate luxury in home furnishing, whether it be an ultra-modern city apartment, a baronial castle, the chalet or a weekend retreat.
Celia Lindsell is a pioneer in the use of this sumptuous material in interior design creating bold and innovative contemporary designs. The possum fur can be used for many items: fur cushions, real fur rugs, fur throws, and fur bedcovers, of course, but also head boards, chaise longue, dining chairs, curtain trim or even wall covering. Sit with a possum real fur cushion tucked into the small of your back and you will soon feel the heat it radiates. Sleep under a possum fur bed throw and you will never want to get out of bed.
Technological advances now mean that this type of real fur can be match dyed to any of your client’s colour schemes or swatches. It can be also be shorn to varying lengths or laser cut into numerous patterns.
All possum fur products are made to order from individually selected and matched skins, sourced from ecologically verified suppliers. They are then hand dyed and processed in Paris and Milan, before being assembled by master furriers in France to create truly luxurious products.
No two skins are the same, making the matching of the possum fur skins a real art. As it is a wild animal, small imperfections occur naturally and like precious stones, or leather, and give the fur character and individuality. At Celia Lindsell we only use 1st quality possum fur skins.
The Possum, Trichosurus Vulpecula, continues to thrive in Australia and is no relation to the American Possum
For more information on how New Zealand is managing this environmental crisis. Click here to visit the New Zealand Department of Conservation’s website.
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RANGE OF POSSUM FUR PRODUCTS