Nike has announced that they will stop using kangaroo leather by the end of 2023. The sportswear company confirmed that their famous Tiempo line of soccer cleats will no longer be made with kangaroo leather. Instead, the shoes will utilize a synthetic material.

In an official statement by Nike to ESPN, the company claimed that the new synthetic material will be superior. The Tiempo line will “debut with a new Nike-only, proprietary synthetic upper, [with] a new material that is a better performance solution and replaces the use of kangaroo leather.”

ESPN also reports that the kangaroo leather industry is worth around $200 million each year to Australia. The United States is currently the second-largest market for kangaroo leather with about $80 million in annual revenue.

New laws forming to help protect kangaroos

The decision shouldn’t come as a surprise. Oregon introduced a new law. Under the bill, the state would ban the sale of “any part of a dead kangaroo or any product containing a part of a dead kangaroo.” Nike’s headquarters are in Beaverton, Oregon. Anyone breaking this law is subject to a year in prison and/or a $6,250 fine.

Along with the new Oregon bill, another nationwide law banning kangaroo leather is also in the works. The bi-partisan bill was recently introduced in the House of Representatives and could soon become an official law. California is currently the only other state in the United States to ban the sale of kangaroo materials.

Nike becomes latest company to ban kangaroo leather

Nike’s decision to stop production on kangaroo products comes just two weeks after Puma made a similar move. The German sportswear’s soccer cleat model King is using a synthetic material going forward. Diadora also stopped using ‘k-leather’ in 2019.

Animal rights advocates have welcomed the decision by the two companies. “This is a big victory,” Kangaroos Alive co-founder Mick McIntyre recently stated. “We hope this is the start of sustained good news for our kangaroos.”