Freedom of Animals and PETA Create the First-Ever Vegan Birkin Bag: The ‘V’irkin

Special-Edition Mock-Croc Handbag Debuts as Hermès Suppliers Are Exposed for Cruelty to Animals

For Immediate Release:
July 2, 2015

Contact:
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Move over, Hermès: There’s a new Birkin bag in town, courtesy of Freedom of Animals—whose “PETA x Freedom of Animals” vegan mock-croc “V”irkin debuts today (photos available here).

An H&M Conscious collection partner that’s been dubbed the “Céline of vegan fashion” for its high-end, minimalist vegan handbag designs, Freedom of Animals is beloved by everyday shoppers as well as celebrities, including Olivia Wilde, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Olivia Culpo. Its latest line of limited-edition bags is debuting on the heels of PETA’s new eyewitness investigation into Hermès-supplying alligator and crocodile farms, where animals were packed into dark sheds and barren concrete pits. Workers crudely hacked into the necks of some alligators and tried to scramble their brains with metal rods—and some of the animals were still conscious and flailing their legs minutes after workers cut into them.

“It’s heartbreaking to see how Birkin bags sentence beautiful, sensitive animals to miserable lives and gruesome deaths, but it’s easy to help put a stop to this cruelty—all you have to do is choose gorgeous cruelty-free accessories like the ‘V’irkin,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA challenges everyone who cares about animals to watch our investigation into Hermès suppliers—and instead buy a bag that no one had to die for.”

“Letting hearts be free is a core value that Freedom of Animals and PETA share, so I couldn’t be more pleased to offer a special-edition PETA tote, the ‘V’irkin, that proves we don’t have to sacrifice style to live by our values,” says Freedom of Animals owner and founder Morgan Bogle.

This week, PETA sent one of the custom bags to Victoria Beckham, who is known for her love of exotic-skin Birkin bags, to help the fashion designer make the cruelty-free switch. A portion of the proceeds from each “V”irkin purchase will go to support the work of PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear.” The bags are available at FreedomofAnimals.com and the PETA Catalog.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind