Adidas, Nike and Puma use kangaroo leather in some products

14 June 2019
What was claimed

Adidas, Puma and Nike use kangaroo leather in their football boots.

Our verdict

Correct. All these companies currently sell football boots made using kangaroo leather.

What was claimed

Adidas are the biggest user of kangaroo leather.

Our verdict

Adidas did not tell us how much kangaroo leather they use. Nike and Puma did not respond to our questions.

What was claimed

3.9 million kangaroos are killed for leather.

Our verdict

This is an overestimate, based on the most recent data. Just under 1.5 million kangaroos and wallabies killed commercially in 2017 in Australia. We don’t know how many of those 1.5 million are used for leather.

A viral post on Facebook claims that millions of kangaroos are killed for their leather, which is used in shoes made by Nike, Adidas and Puma.

It’s correct that these three companies all use kangaroo leather (sometimes called “k-leather”) in some of their football boots.

However the claim that 3.9 million kangaroos are killed for their leather is an overestimate. The latest official statistics record just under 1.5 million kangaroos and wallabies killed commercially in 2017 across four Australian states (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia).

Commercial killing doesn’t take place in Tasmania, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory .

The 3.9 million figure referenced in the Facebook post could refer to the commercial quota in 2005, as publicised by animal rights charity PETA. In 2005 the number recorded as killed was lower than the quota—3.1 million. 

We asked the Australian environment department and the Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia for more data but did not receive a response.

The post claims that Adidas is the largest user of kangaroo leather. We asked Adidas, Nike and Puma how much kangaroo leather they each use.

Adidas confirmed they used kangaroo leather but did not tell us how much. Neither Nike nor Puma replied to our questions.

The Facebook post uses an image of a dead baby kangaroo. This photograph is not of a kangaroo that was killed for leather; it is of a baby kangaroo that died in bushfires in Victoria in 2009.  

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as true as the primary claim that all three companies use kangaroo leather in at least some of their products is true. However some of the post’s secondary claims are false or unverified.

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