For Immediate Release:
July 19, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
London – Following the passing of actor and singer Jane Birkin, who previously asked for her name to be removed from Hermès’ Birkin crocodile-skin bag due to concerns about cruelty to animals, PETA U.K. has fired off a letter calling on the French fashion house to ban the use of exotic animals “so that no more wildlife is killed in her name.”
“Will Hermès continue to hark back to the past, treating these magnificent and highly intelligent exotic animals as nothing more than living, breathing ‘fabric,’ or will you embrace positive change and make a commitment to continue Ms. Birkin’s legacy in a manner that respects the natural world and all who live in it by using the finest cruelty-free materials to create a modern Birkin and other accessories? We hope you will choose the latter,” writes PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.
Birkin’s request followed never-before-seen footage showing live reptiles sawed open and left to bleed to death on a farm that supplied skins to Hermès. More revelations have since followed: An investigation by Kindness Project filmed on farms owned by Hermès revealed that crocodiles were being kept in cramped, barren conditions and then mutilated and stabbed with a screwdriver.
PETA notes that it takes three crocodiles to make just one Hermès bag and that many designers, including Mulberry, Victoria Beckham, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel, Stella McCartney, and Burberry, have banned exotic skins from their collections.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.