Stella McCartney, the vegetarian designer revered by vegans worldwide, is more used to leading attacks on the fur-loving world of high fashion than being on the receiving end. But that is precisely where she has found herself this week, after animal welfare campaigners launched an assault on the sporting giant behind her sports range for its use of kangaroo leather.
Adidas is in the firing line for fuelling what campaigners have dubbed the "largest wildlife slaughter in the world", which sees millions of kangaroos killed each year in Australia for sport, or to be precise for the football boots that are made from their skins.
The timing of the attack could not be worse for Adidas or Ms McCartney, coming just ahead of the debut for her sports line at London Fashion Week next month. Adidas by Stella McCartney is being billed as the grand finale to six days of fashion shows from big names such as Paul Smith and Betty Jackson.
The row also threatens to embarrass other members of the McCartney family: Sir Paul has been a fierce critic in the past of Adidas's use of kangaroo skins.
Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: "Adidas's use of kangaroo skin is inexcusably cruel. On the question of Stella McCartney's alleged silence, we know she opposes animal cruelty and presume she is taking the steps she feels appropriate to press the company to stop the use of kangaroo skins." Sir Paul has campaigned for Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (Viva!). "Please do all you can to help Viva! end this shameful massacre," he has said.
Viva! scored a major coup last month, which culminated in the Californian Supreme Court banning the sale of football boots and other products made from kangaroo leather. The ruling was a second major embarrassment for Adidas, coming after David Beckham hung up his kangaroo- skin Predator boots and demanded a synthetic pair.Reuse content