PETA to Hermès: Retire the Birkin Crocodile-Skin Handbag

Group Calls On French Fashion House to Honour Jane Birkin’s Legacy by Banning Exotic Skins  

London – Following the passing of actor and singer Jane Birkin, who once asked for her name to be removed from Hermès’ Birkin crocodile-skin bag due to concerns over cruelty to animals, PETA has fired off a letter calling on the luxury fashion label to retire the handbag and adopt a policy prohibiting the use of exotic animals’ skins “so that no more wildlife is killed in her name.”

“Will Hermès continue to hark back to the past, treating these magnificent and highly intelligent exotic animals as nothing more than living, breathing ‘fabric’, or will you embrace positive change and make a commitment to continue Ms. Birkin’s legacy in a manner that respects the natural world and all who live in it by using the finest cruelty-free materials to create a modern Birkin and other accessories? We hope you will choose the latter,” writes PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk in her plea.

Birkin’s request followed never-before-seen footage showing live reptiles sawed open and left to bleed to death on farms that supply skins to Hermès. More revelations have since followed: an investigation by Kindness Project filmed on farms owned by Hermès revealed that crocodiles were being kept in cramped, barren enclosures and cages and then mutilated and stabbed with a screwdriver.

PETA notes that it takes three crocodiles to make just one Hermès bag and that many designers, including Mulberry, Victoria Beckham, Karl Lagerfeld, Paul Smith, Chanel, Stella McCartney, and Burberry, have banned exotic skins from their collections.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]