Jane Birkin, for whom Hermes named the bag, was outraged at learning how crocodiles were being cruelly killed at the farms that reportedly supply Hermes with their raw materials.
"Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermes handbags carrying my name," Birkin told Agence France-Presse in a statement, "I have asked Hermes to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place."
The animal rights organization PETA recently released a damning expose focused on a Texas factory farm, where baby alligators are housed in inhuman conditions before they're either shot with a captive-bolt gun or cut into while they are still alive, and a facility in Zimbabwe where the animals are reportedly abused. It reportedly takes two to three crocodiles to make a single bag.
Despite Hermes' claims that the croc skins they receive from the Texas farm — which is not owned by them — are not used for production of Birkin bags, the actress insists her name be taken off the elite handbag until the brand's sourcing complies with international production standards.
For its part, Hermes announced the company visits its suppliers regularly to ensure "the highest standards" are in place, that it is investigating the Texas farm's practices and that "any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned."
Birkin also said she's teamed up with US actor Joaquin Phoenix and signed his Mercy For Animals petition to "shed exotic skins from your wardrobe" in protest against killing reptiles for the sake of clothes production.