Jane Birkin has asked Hermes to remove her name from its crocodile skin bag

Actress Jane Birkin has asked luxury fashion house Hermès to remove her name from its “Birkin” bag due to alleged cruel slaughtering practices and poor treatment of crocodiles.

“I have asked Hermes to rename the Birkin ‘Croco’ until they adopt better practices that meet international standards for the production of this bag,” Birkin said in a statement.

Birkin has signed actor Joaquin Phoenix’s Mercy For Animals petition, which urges people to “shed exotic skins from their wardrobe”, in protest of the reptiles killed every year to produce shoes, handbags, belts and other accessories.

Animal rights group PETA recently published a video expose (see below) on crocodile farms that supply luxury brands, showing how live reptiles are crammed into concrete pits before being skinned or sawed open.

Hermès said the crocodile skins from the Texas farm in the video are not used for Birkin bags, and an investigation was being conducted into the farm’s practices.

The luxury brand also said it imposes the highest ethical standards on its suppliers regarding the treatment of crocodiles, and it conducts monthly checks to ensure they are upheld.

“Hermes respects and shares [Jane Birkin’s] emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast,” it said in a statement.

The actress agreed to lend her name to the bag after meeting the late head of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas, in the 1980s.

The crocodile Birkin – much loved by celebrities – is a symbol of wealth and one of the most sought-after luxury items in the world, with prices reaching £145,000 and a waiting list of up to six years.

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