Kangaroos Are Not Shoes
We are working to stop the commercial killing in Australia of roughly two million wild kangaroos annually — mainly to manufacture soccer cleats.
Some two million kangaroos are killed each year in the largest commercial slaughter of land-based mammals on the planet. Kangaroos are killed for their skins, including for soccer shoes, and their meat is used for pet food and human consumption. Though over a billion animals were killed in the Australian wildfires, leaving so much carnage and loss of life, Australian political leaders continue to support massive commercial killing of the nation’s iconic animal.
Although manufacturers like Adidas have made great strides in developing soccer shoes made of synthetic materials (sometimes derived from recycled ocean plastic), more than a dozen major soccer shoe companies continue to use kangaroo leather. Puma and Nike issued announcements this year to end their use in 2023.
British fashion designer Paul Smith, who recently collaborated with New Balance on a kangaroo leather soccer shoe, has also disavowed using kangaroo. As have many other fashion brands like Versace and Stella McCartney. And New Balance has now modified its restricted materials list to include kangaroos, beginning in 2024.
We are still working to convince Adidas and others like, Mizuna, and lotto to follow these examples.
The Business Case
Given that synthetic soccer shoes are lighter, more durable, sustainable and environmentally-friendly — and don’t come with the stigma of a dead animal — the demand for kangaroo leather will decrease. Awareness about the plight of kangaroos and other wildlife affected by the Australian wildfires makes this already indefensible slaughter even more archaic and retrograde. Further, California is the largest market for soccer shoes in the US and prohibits kangaroo leather from being imported or sold in the state.
In an analysis conducted by the Center, the 2022 World Cup saw 172 goals scored, and players wearing non-kangaroo-based shoes (mainly synthetic shoes) scoring 164 goals, or more than 95 percent of the total. (Read more here.)
The Kangaroo Protection Act would forbid trade in kangaroo parts in the United States. By closing off the U.S. market to products made from dead kangaroos, the legislation would complete the industry transition away from kangaroo skins. Among major brands, only Adidas continues to retail soccer shoes made from these animals.
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Actions to Take
Sign our petition
Email Adidas' Executive Board Member and Head of Global Operations
Sign Our Petition
Tell your legislators
Visit the Center's microsite for a timeline of our Kangaroos Are Not Shoes campaign.