Global sportswear manufacturer Nike has announced it will stop using kangaroo leather in its soccer shoes by 2023, following in the footsteps of Puma.
Instead, Nike will introduce a new proprietary synthetic upper for its Tiempo franchise, according to a statement released by the company.
The move comes after Nike divested its only kangaroo leather supplier in 2021 and legislators in Connecticut and Oregon began debating bills that would ban the sale of products containing the material.
Animal rights activists in Australia and around the world have long campaigned against the commercial killing of kangaroos, with concerns that the practice is unsustainable and cruel.
Puma has also announced it will stop using kangaroo leather and will use a new material called K-Better, made from at least 20% recycled materials, for its King soccer boot.
Nike’s decision to stop using kangaroo leather in its Tiempo soccer shoes is a significant move for the company, which has faced criticism from animal rights groups for its use of the material.
The introduction of a new synthetic upper will allow Nike to move away from the use of kangaroo leather while still offering high-performance soccer shoes.
The decision by Nike and Puma to stop using kangaroo leather is likely to put pressure on other sportswear manufacturers to follow suit.
With animal rights groups continuing to campaign against the commercial killing of kangaroos, the use of the material in sports apparel is likely to face increasing scrutiny in the years to come.