Our Conservation & Sustainability Approach
New Zealand has one of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world and the team at Keuzi intends to help it stay this way through our conservation and sustainability efforts.
Here at Keuzi, we want it to be easy for you to make the right choice when selecting quality products derived from natural materials and that are good for our planet. This starts by sharing with you the background story to the core natural material our boots are made from - possum fur.
Possum’s have a significant impact on New Zealand’s native plants and birds and have been classed as a pest by the NZ Government. By buying a pair of Keuzi possum boots you will help NZ with our conservation efforts to reduce our possum population.
To further support New Zealand’s conservation efforts Keuzi has formed a partnership with NZ’s largest conservation organisation Forest & Bird. Keuzi donates $1 to Forest & Bird for each pair of boots purchased.
We feel clarification is needed over the name “possum” as it has increasingly been mistakenly applied to separate species. By and large there are two different animals people refer to when they use the name. The animal found in Australia and New Zealand which is truly a “possum” is often known as the “brush-tailed possum,” and the North American species, that is often misnamed, is in fact a separate animal entirely called an “opossum.”
This confusion and mistake is understandable. The names of both animals sound alike, and the two different species share some similarities in appearance. Their habitats, however, are separated by the entire Pacific Ocean, a distinction which is particularly important.
For Keuzi, the South Pacific is our focus, and specifically New Zealand.
New Zealand’s stunning native flora and fauna, and breath-taking scenery is celebrated the world over. From the iconic birds and gargantuan native trees, to the famous picturesque landscape, New Zealand’s unique wilderness and remote location is unlike anywhere else.
The unique characteristics of New Zealand’s native fauna, like the flight lessness of a Kiwi bird, are the result of evolution without predators. These characteristics make them entirely unique to the rest of the world, but also especially vulnerable to introduced predators. In fact, New Zealand has lost 43 species of unique birds largely due to introduced predators that have arrived with human settlement.
Enter the common brush-tail possum - a predator introduced from our neighbours in Australia with devastating impact.
In the 1830’s possums were naively brought to New Zealand by some of the earliest European settlers with the hope of starting a fur industry. By the 1920’s the devastation they caused made possum importation illegal, with them being declared a pest not long after. Unfortunately for New Zealand’s unique ecosystems, the more accessible wool trade took hold, reducing demand for possum fur and causing possum numbers to explode throughout the country.
This rapid spread throughout New Zealand has created enormous problems for our unique native species, with the possum destroying rare and endangered plants, while competing with birds for food, and eating their eggs. Estimates place the current number of these pests in New Zealand at more than 30 million, outnumbering even the famous sheep population.
Described by the New Zealand Government’s Department of Conservation (DoC) as one of the greatest threats to New Zealand's natural environment, the common brushtail possum is considered a significant predator. For this reason New Zealand has declared the goal of eradicating this invasive alien species by 2050.
A great amount of Government and volunteer resource is put to work across fenced sanctuaries and over large areas of public conservation land, with trapping done in accordance with the 1999 Animal Welfare law, and the guidance of the National Pest Control Agency, placing the welfare concerns for the animal as an absolute priority.
Here at Keuzi, we understand that conservation efforts play an important role in protecting New Zealand’s stunning native flora and fauna. We exist to provide an outlet for the by-product of these efforts and are dedicated to preserving and building upon New Zealand’s fundamental framework of conservation laws and policies through our partnership with Forest & Bird, New Zealand where we donate a percentage of proceeds from the sale of our possum products to support conservation efforts.
We only accept possum hides from New Zealand where they are a byproduct of conservation efforts, and not raised for their pelts.
On behalf of New Zealand, the team here at Keuzi are grateful to have your support in producing products that are helping to provide a positive future for New Zealand’s native species.
To learn more about Forest & Bird, please see the link below:
To read more about DoC’s work on the possum threat in New Zealand, please see the link below:
For further reading on the history of possums in New Zealand, please see the link below:
At Keuzi, we are working to do our part by building a responsible supply chain that creates high-quality, low-impact, long-lasting products. We prioritize natural fibres and materials, and we will work with our production partners to carefully consider alternatives to chemicals and plastics which produce waste that endangers our planet’s ecosystems. Where synthetic materials have clear performance and/or durability advantages, we push for those derived from recycled or plant-based sources.
We have a goal of only partnering with suppliers and manufacturers who meet high measures of sustainable practices, and who are transparent in their pursuit of continual improvement over their footprint and processes.
Along with this, we’re aware of how important it is for the world to move quickly to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change - so we have committed to eliminating all virgin plastic from our supply chain.
So more than just a goal, this environmental commitment to eliminating plastic extends across all of our products, packaging, and office supplies, and is in place to help you, our customers, to make the right choice for our planet through more conscious purchasing decisions.
We are always looking for ways to improve. We are working hard to curb our environmental impact and build a sustainable and responsible business. We are committed to making continual improvements to our footprint and materials, because we’re in this for the long run.
On behalf of New Zealand, the team here at Keuzi are grateful to have your support in producing products that are helping to provide a positive future for New Zealand’s native species and the world's sustainability.