The crocodile-skin Hermes Birkin bag broke the record for the most expensive handbag sold at auction, selling for $222,912 at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong.
Courtesy of Christie's
By Benjamin Snyder
September 11, 2015

Actress Jane Birkin has given the green light to Hermès to continue making its iconic, luxury Birkin bags in crocodile leather.

“Hermes reasserts its commitment to implement best practice in the farming of crocodiles,” Hermès said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. “This is in strictest compliance with international regulations.”

The bags cost anywhere from over $9,000 to $68,000 (with one even selling for over $200,000 earlier this year in Hong Kong). There were concerns raised over the treatment of some of the crocodiles used to make the bags.

Per Bloomberg:

The spat erupted after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a video in June showing alligators still moving after being shot by a bolt gun at an Hermès supplier in Texas. The rights group said some workers at the farm were told to cut into 500 conscious animals with knives when the gun wasn’t functioning and described how metal rods were shoved into the reptiles’ skulls to destroy their brains.

In July, PETA even became a shareholder in Hermès in order to campaign against the company, as Fortune reported.

 

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