Jane Birkin has name removed from Hermès Birkin bag
Jane Birkin has ordered Hermès to rename their Birkin bag.
The 68-year-old actress - who had the first Birkin bag created for her by the luxury brand's chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas in the 80s - has asked for her moniker to be removed as the title of the iconic design after reading that crocodiles are treated poorly by the company.
Jane issued a statement saying: "Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermès bags carrying my name I have asked Hermès Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag."
The bag, which sells for between £6,700 and £145,000 depending on the style and has a waiting list of up to six years, is seen as a symbol of wealth and is a staple among celebrities.
However, the Birkin made out of crocodile skin has come under fire from animal rights activists including PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), who recently published a report claiming the crocodile farms from Texas to Zimbabwe used by Hermès cram the animals into concrete pits before they are "crudely hacked" to death.
The campaign group also revealed it takes two to three crocodiles to make just one Birkin bag.
PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk said: "PETA, on behalf of all kind souls in the world, thanks Ms. Birkin for ending her association with Hermès, which makes grotesque handbags that were revealed in a PETA expose to be constructed from the skins of factory-farmed and cruelly slaughtered crocodiles.
"We call on Hermès to stop plundering wildlife, factory-farming crocodiles and alligators and slaughtering them for their skins.
"Once, Birkin bags marked people as celebrities or at least members of the super-rich, but soon, no one will want to be caught dead carrying one, and animal advocates will then breathe a sigh of relief."