Not long after Puma announced they’d be ceasing production of football boots made from kangaroo leather, Nike have now made a similar statement and announced a shift away from “K-leather” starting this year.
Nike’s Tiempo football footwear line will no longer be crafted with kangaroo leather, replacing the material with a proprietary synthetic upper.
Kangaroo leather is a very common material for football boots and most sporty footwear. It’s used by some of the industries leading lines such as the Adidas Predator Pulse, Puma KING, and Nike Tiempo lines.
In an effort to become more green, Puma have also revealed that its famous KING football footwear lines will feature a new “K-BETTER” upper made from non-animal based materials with a minimum of 20% recycled fabrics.
Kangaroo leather has been described as lighter, stronger, and more flexible than cow and goat hide – making it popular amongst sport shoes and gloves.
At the beginning of the year, a bill was passed in the state of Oregon which will soon prohibit the sale of any kangaroo parts or kangaroo-based products. Nike‘s Beaverton headquarters are based in Oregon, meaning this new mandate could have played a big role in the decision.
What surprised me is that the kangaroo population far exceeds the human population in Australia, with roughly 43 million roos to 26 million humans.
Kangaroos are considered a pest species in Australia and while they may be a protected species, the Australian government permits license holders to ‘cull’ or shoot kangaroos, resulting in the largest slaughter of land-based wildlife on the planet and a controversial topic within Australia.