Hermes breeds their own crocodiles to meet bag demand
French fashion giant Hermes has decided to open their own crocodile farms in Australia to meet the heavy demand for their handbags made of crocodile skin.
Customers who order these bags, some at over $48,000 US, can wait several years for their bag.
"It can take three to four crocodiles to make one of our bags so we are now breeding our own crocodiles on our own farms, mainly in Australia," Patrick Thomas told the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in Paris.
Hermes already faces a major challenge producing 3,000 crocodile bags a year, Thomas said, adding: "The world is not full of crocodiles, except the stock exchange!"
Crocodile farming is an expensive venture as the reptiles have to be kept apart from each other to protect their skin.
Hermes' leather goods sales amounts to 40 percent of their business, and even the recession has not affected them much as they have employed 50 to 100 leather workers this year, adding to the 2,000 they already have.
PETA has responded with this comment:
The thought of purposely breeding and killing crocodiles for an outdated, overpriced handbag should make any fashionista's skin crawl. If Hermes really wants to be a leader in the fashion industry, it should stop killing animals for cold-blooded vanity and use cruelty-free mock croc and fake snake instead. As Pink—who recently provided the voice of a computer-generated crocodile in PETA's "Stolen for Fashion" commercial—says, "Killing animals for their skins is so disgusting that it doesn't make me want to befriend designers who use them."