Fashion News: Hermes, Horror and the Birkin Bag
The Hermès Birkin Croco handbag (Pictured) recently became the focus of an expose by rights group PETA on crocodile farms from Texas to Zimbabwe, where the reptiles are allegedly crammed into barren concrete pits before being “cruelly hacked” to death.
PETA said it takes two or three crocodiles to make one Birkin.
“At just one year old, alligators are shot with a captive-bolt gun or crudely cut into while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain,” PETA said.
“The investigator saw alligators continuing to move their legs and tails in the bleed rack and in bloody ice bins several minutes after their attempted slaughter,” it added.
Welcoming singer Jane Birkin’s decision to ask Hermès to remove her name from the handbag , PETA said on its website yesterday: “On behalf of all kind souls in the world, we thank Ms Birkin for ending her association with Hermès.”
The group also called on Hermes to “stop plundering wildlife, factory-farming crocodiles and alligators and slaughtering them for their skins.”
Birkin is perhaps best known as the former wife of late French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, who penned some of the songs that catapulted her to fame. She also has an acting career.
In a previous response to the controversy over its crocodile-skin bags, the company said all the farms it works with respect the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and that an audit was underway in one of the farms fingered by PETA.
Hermès employs some 12,000 people worldwide, including 7,200 in France.
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