HERMÈS RIPOSTE: Hermès has extended an olive branch to Jane Birkin, the muse behind one of its most successful handbag styles, after she called for the luxury house to rename the crocodile version of the bag until changes are instigated regarding the reptiles’ treatment.
“Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles,” said Hermès International in a statement. “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.”
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had published a video report on the slaughter of crocodiles and alligators.
“An investigation is underway at the Texas farm which was implicated in the video,” stated Hermès. “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 for the fabrication of Birkin bags.
“Hermès imposes on its partners the highest standards in the ethical treatment of crocodiles,” it continued, adding that for more than a decade it has organized monthly visits to its suppliers.
Hermès said it controls their practices and makes sure they respect slaughter standards established by veterinary experts and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency, and rules established under the authority of the United Nations and international conventions on the protection of endangered species.