Puma and Nike have announced plans to stop using kangaroo leather in making shoes due to concerns over animal welfare. The use of kangaroo leather in sports products has been a contentious issue for many years, with environmentalists and animal rights activists campaigning for an end to the commercial, largely uncontrolled killing of the animals.
Companies Switch to Vegan Materials
Puma has confirmed that the legendary Puma King soccer shoe will be manufactured from a vegan material in the future, the so-called K-Better, which contains 20 percent recycled material. According to Puma, K-Better has been proven to outperform the previous King K leather in terms of comfort and durability. The company is so convinced of K-Better’s performance characteristics that it will completely stop producing soccer shoes with kangaroo leather this year. Nike is also planning to bring out an update of its Tiempo soccer shoe series, using a synthetic material instead of kangaroo leather.
Animal Rights Activists Campaign for Change
The use of kangaroo leather in sports products has faced backlash from animal rights activists for many years, while kangaroos are not officially threatened with extinction. Activists argue that the killing of kangaroos for commercial purposes is cruel and not controlled, with millions of animals killed every year for meat, animal feed, leather accessories, or soccer boots. They have been campaigning for an end to the commercial killing of the animals, and this has led to the decision by Puma and Nike to switch to vegan materials in their products.
The Australian kangaroo industry has argued that the use of kangaroo leather is more environmentally friendly than conventional leather and has a lower carbon footprint. Kangaroos emit less methane, require less water, cause less damage to the pastureland and no energy is needed to breed them. They also point out that the animals live in the wild, unlike cattle and other farmed animals whose meat and leather are traded.
Puma and Nike’s decision to switch to vegan materials in their soccer shoes highlights the fashion industry’s growing concern for animal welfare and the environment.