The Hermès Birkin bag is an elite status symbol. To get your hands on one would cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars and a decent amount of time as there’s a waiting list. However, they may no longer be known as Birkin bags. Jane Birkin (the namesake behind the bag) has asked Hermès to remove her name from the crocodile handbag. Uh oh.
Birkin said in a statement, “Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermès handbags carrying my name… I have asked Hermes to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place.”
Her bold statement comes after PETA released information from a recent investigation. They exposed how crocodiles are killed so Hermès can use their skins to create these “luxury” bags. PETA reports that “it takes two or three crocodiles to make just one handbag.” They have since added, “On behalf of all kind souls in the world, we thank Ms Birkin for ending her association with Hermès.”
As Jezebel so accurately put it: “What’s a Birkin when it’s not called a Birkin?”
Update: Hermès has released a statement in response to Jane Birkin’s request.
“Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles. Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years. Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast.
An investigation is underway at the Texas farm which was implicated in the video. Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned. Hermès specifies that this farm does not belong to them and that the crocodile skins supplied are not used for the fabrication of Birkin bags.
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 (a federal American organization for the protection of nature) and with the rules established under the aegis of the U.N.O, by the Washington Convention of 1973 which defines the protection of endangered species.”