After a PETA investigation at a crocodile farm in Texas, Jane Birkin demanded that Hermes remove her name from the house’s most iconic bag due to inhumane animal practices. Imagining a Birkin by any other name is almost impossible. Luckily, the Birkin-Hermes union may continue after all…
Hermes took swift action after the report and conducted a thorough investigation at the Texas farm. Hermes concluded that the unethical, slaughter process at this crocodile farm was an “isolated irregularity”. Nonetheless, Hermes stands firm on ceasing relations with this Texas supplier if unethical practices continue in the future. Last week, Hermes released a statement to the public that Jane Birkin “is satisfied with the measures taken by Hermes” and the Birkin bag will retain its namesake:
“Following the heartfelt emotion expressed by Jane Birkin and her request for explanation, Hermès in agreement with her reiterates its firm commitment in the ethical treatment of crocodiles in its partner farms.
Hermès reasserts its commitment to implement best practice in the farming of crocodiles, working with professional crocodile farmers and their attached local communities. This is in strictest compliance with international regulations.
In consultation with local regulatory organizations and associations, Hermès is resolved to evolve its current recommendations to support the development of best standards for the entire profession. In the United States, the document of reference is the Best Management Practices for Louisiana Alligator Forming. We demand that these Louisiana practices be the reference applied by all our suppliers in the U.S.A., Texas included.”
Although the Jane Birkin and Hermes spat has been resolved, Birkin’s public stance against animal cruelty has opened the door for a bigger conversation. The practices behind and the use of exotic leathers in general is still a highly controversial topic. Many activist groups continue to fight for more transparent measures in the fashion industry surrounding animal resources. However, as demonstrated by this recent Hermes incident, there are still many issues that need to be brought to the table before conditions and practices can be standardized.
Now the question goes back to you, was Hermes’ response enough? Do you feel any differently about exotic bags? Click here to join the conversation on BopTalk
Updated: May 28th, 2017