Nike pledges to stop making kangaroo leather football boots – which David Beckham discontinued in 2006 – following campaign backed by Ricky Gervais and Woody Harrelson
- Nike has joined other soccer shoe producers in ditching kangaroo leather
- David Beckham stopped wearing kangaroo boots in 2006
David Beckham gave them the boot in 2006 after activists sent him graphic images of slaughtered animals for his shoes.
And now the premium kangaroo leather football boots abandoned by the former England captain and made by Nike, Adidas and Puma, will soon be given the red card after pressure from animal rights activists, celebrities and a crackdown on UNITED STATES.
It comes after Nike announced last week that it would phase out the use of kangaroo skins in all of its products by the end of the year.
The American giant ended its partnership with its sole supplier of kangaroo leather in 2021.
The company says its popular Tiempo range of football boots – reportedly worn by England midfielder Jordan Henderson and Liverpool and Netherlands centre-back Virgil – will in future be made with a synthetic fabric.
Nike announced last week that it would phase out the use of kangaroo skins in all of its products by the end of the year.
David Beckham wore kangaroo leather football boots until 2006 when he swapped them for synthetic ones after activists sent him graphic images of slaughtered animals (pictured in 2005)
Nike’s German rival Puma made a similar pledge earlier this year.
Luxury fashion houses like Gucci, Chanel and Prada as well as British brands like Paul Smith and Victoria Beckham have previously rejected kangaroo leather.
The sports giants’ announcement was welcomed by animal rights activists, with Wayne Pacelle of the Center for a Humane Economy hailing it as “a seismic event in wildlife protection”.
The group spearheaded the ‘Kangaroos Are Not Shoes’ campaign, which rolled out in 2020 and went viral online after being endorsed by celebrities including Ricky Gervais and Woody Harrelson.
Previously, the most expensive football boots were made with kangaroo skin, which is lighter, more durable and flexible than cowhide.
Today, the majority of football boots made by Nike and its rivals are made from synthetic materials, but some like Nike’s Tiempo Legend 9 Elite boot and Puma’s KING Platinum 21 Rallye boot feature leather. of kangaroo.
The US state of Oregon, where Nike is headquartered, introduced a bill in January that, if passed, will ban the sale of “any part of a dead kangaroo”.
Leather producers and industry leaders have slammed the football boot producers’ decision, saying there has been a “misinformation campaign” about kangaroo leather that has spread overseas ( stock picture)
There are also only seven of the 60 species of kangaroos and wallabies approved for harvesting. These species are not on the threatened or rare list (stock image)
From 2006, Beckham only played and promoted football boots made without kangaroo leather.
California is currently the only other US state to ban the sale of kangaroo products.
But the move has been criticized in Australia, where kangaroos are widely considered a pest.
Australian leather producers say they have fallen victim to an international “disinformation campaign” about k-leather that threatens the lucrative industry.
Some conservationists say banning trade in kangaroo products would create more harm for kangaroos due to overpopulation.