BIRKIN REDUX: Hermès has patched up things with Jane Birkin.
The French luxury house said on Friday it will tighten requirements for suppliers of crocodile skins and has investigated allegations of abuse made in a video published by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in July.
Birkin had called for the crocodile leather skin handbag style named in her honor to be rechristened until fairer treatments of the animals were put into practice.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “Jane Birkin has advised us that she is satisfied by the measures taken by Hermès.”
Hermès moved quickly to contain any fallout from the affair, saying in July that it shared the British performer’s concerns about animal welfare and promising to investigate a Texas farm implicated in the PETA video.
It said on Friday that it gave the farm a formal warning after an isolated incident was reported during the killing of the animals. An audit conducted in July 2015 revealed that all was in order, said Hermès, adding that it would immediately terminate its relationship with the farm in case of any new breach.
Hermès said that going forward, all its suppliers in the United States would be held to the country’s most stringent standards, the Best Management Practices for Louisiana Alligator Farming — including those in neighboring Texas.
On Friday, PETA’s founder Ingrid Newkirk released a statement in response to the news, calling the conditions at the Texas farm “not an ‘isolated irregularity’ at all.”
“In the month that PETA U.S.’s investigator was employed at [the farm], no inspectors were on site nor was there any mention of inspections, casting grave doubt on Hermès’ assurances that it conducts monthly investigations [at the farm],” the statement read.
“Jane Birkin is a good person, and we think has been given false assurances from Hermès that it gives a hoot about animals,” Newkirk said.