An animal welfare group is criticizing Adidas for allegedly continuing to sell football boots made from kangaroo skin.
The Center for a Humane Economy said Wednesday that a state investigation in California revealed that retailers in the state continue to sell Adidas soccer shoes made from kangaroo leather, despite repeated warnings about violations of the law that prohibits this. trade.
The Center, which has already filed three lawsuits against soccer stores for violating the state’s Unfair Competition Act, said it has sent notices of intent to sue two more retailers unless they respond with written guarantees that the stores will immediately cease sales. of illicit products. (Section 653o of the California Penal Code prohibits the sale of the body parts of various animals in the state, including kangaroos.)
“For years, many California retailers have been openly flouting the law, securing shoes from Adidas and other companies on open display in their stores and even bragging that they know it’s illegal while greedily charging sales,” Kate Schultz, lead attorney at the Center for a Humane Economics, said in a statement. “Our notifications to law enforcement officials of these illegal activities have produced no action, and we have been left with no choice but to try to enforce the law through civil proceedings and bring these violators to court.”
In a statement to FN, an Adidas representative denied these claims. “We certainly comply with all applicable legal regulations and do not sell any kangaroo leather products in California,” the representative said.
In March, the Center for a Humane Economy praised Puma and then Nike for pledging to end global sales of kangaroo shoes by the end of 2023. Nike announced at the time the release of a new Tiempo Legend Elite sneaker made without Kangaroo Leather: A radical departure from the company’s flagship soccer shoe.
Nike’s stated intentions to move away from kangaroo leather comes on the heels of another key athletic player, Puma, announcing that it would soon stop using kangaroo leather as well.
Puma revealed in March that the next iteration of its pinnacle King football boot will feature K-Better, a material the brand described as “an entirely new, non-animal-based upper material” that is at least 20 per cent material. recycling.
Diadora, the Italian-based football boot giant, stopped using kangaroo leather in its product lines in 2020.
Since 2019, the Center said it has been running a global “Kangaroos are not shoes” campaign, urging sports shoe retailers to stop using the skins of Australia’s iconic marsupials for soccer cleats.