Jane Birkin, the inspiration for the iconic Hermes Birkin bag, has asked the brand to remove her name from the crocodile-skin bag bearing her name. She said in a statement: “Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermes handbags carrying my name … I have asked Hermes to ‘de-baptize’ the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place.”
Click here to view the image
An Hermes Birkin bag is among the ultimate symbols of wealth and status because of its high price tag and favor among celebrities. It was designed especially for Birkin, a British actor and singer, after she complained she could not find a bag that was both elegant and practical. Each Hermes Birkin is entirely handmade in France, takes 18 to 25 hours to complete, and sells from $10,500 to $150,000. The bag is available in alligator, crocodile, ostrich, cow, or calf leather. According to PETA, it takes two or three crocodile bellies to make one Birkin Croco.
Birkin’s decision to distance herself from the crocodile-skin bag bearing her name highlights an increasing demand for sustainable and socially responsible practices in fashion design and production. Many designers incorporate eco-conscious methods in their lines through the use of environmentally friendly materials and socially responsible methods of production. And, a number of high profile celebrities, style-influencers, and models refuse to wear or be photographed in certain fabrics or endorse products made with questionable practices. Add Jane Birkin to that list.