After seeing reptiles mutilated for their skin for the purpose of making handbags, Jane Birkin now wants her name removed from Hermès’ iconic and exclusive line of crocodile-skin handbags named after her.
Following a report by animal rights group PETA condemning the act of crocodiles and alligators being unethically slaughtered and their skin used to make luxury bags, British actress Jane Birkin now wants her name removed from the Hermès Birkin Croco bag that sells for as much as US$100,000 a piece.
“Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermès bags carrying my name, I have asked the Hermès Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag,” she said in a statement to Agence France-Presse.
PETA thanked Birkin for ending her association with Hermès and called on the luxury brand to “stop plundering wildlife, factory-farming crocodiles and alligators and slaughtering them for their skins”. It added that soon, “no one will want to be caught dead carrying one, and animal advocates will then breathe a sigh of relief”.
In response, Hermès issued an official statement, denouncing that the fashion house was involved in the cruel slaughtering of the reptiles while adding that it maintains a close relationship with Jane Birkin and that it is investigating the situation.
“Hermès imposes on its partners the highest standards in the ethical treatment of crocodiles. For more than 10 years, we have organized monthly visits to our suppliers. We control their practices and their conformity with slaughter standards established by veterinary experts and by the Fish and Wildlife Service and with the rules established under the aegis of the UNO, by the Washington Convention of 1973 which defines the protection of endangered species,” said the statement.
The graphic video above depicts the cruel ways that the reptiles are tortured before being skinned, casting a long shadow on the fashion industry that has been known to use a variety of animal skins – from ostriches to chinchillas – to make its products.
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