PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After Oregon lawmakers introduced a bill banning the sale of kangaroo parts, Nike has announced that it will no longer be using kangaroo leather for any of its products by the end of 2023.
According to ESPN, Nike confirmed its move away from kangaroo products in a statement on Monday.
ESPN reported that Nike’s Tiempo soccer cleats, which are typically made with kangaroo leather, will “debut with a new Nike-only, proprietary synthetic upper, (with) a new material that is a better performance solution.”
Prior to this announcement, the athletic apparel company had been criticized for its use of kangaroo products by animal activists across the world.
In March 2022, organizers joined the Global Day of Action to protest the brand’s soccer cleats outside of a Nike store in downtown Portland, Oregon. Groups in New York and Australian cities led their own protests as well.
More recently, Oregon Sen. Floyd Prozanski introduced Senate Bill 764 that would prohibit any purchases, sales, transfers or other exchanges of dead kangaroo parts for commercial purposes.
“It’s unconscionable that millions of native wild animals in Australia have been killed for the sake of high-end soccer cleats worn by a subset of elite soccer players,” Prozanki said in a statement in January 2023. “I understand this legislation may have financial impact on some Oregon shoe manufacturers, but in the balance, Oregon should be standing on the humane side of this issue.”
The Washington Post previously reported that Australia exports about $60 million worth of kangaroo products to the U.S. each year. This includes products exported to Nike, with its world headquarters located in Beaverton, Oregon.
At the time, the brand told ESPN that it only uses a “small portion” of kangaroo skin for its cleats and collaborates with leather suppliers that treat its kangaroos humanely — but this will all change once Nike phases out its kangaroo leather for synthetic material.
Puma, a sportswear company based in Germany, announced a similar move earlier this year.