Pret-a-Reporter

PETA Wants to Infiltrate Hermes by Becoming a Shareholder

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A PETA protest at Hermes' New York office

The organization wants in on company meetings.

PETA never has been one for subtlety.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ latest stunt is purchasing a single share at Hermes in an attempt to gain access to the French fashion house’s shareholder meetings.

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After releasing a report at the end of 2014 documenting inhumane and "cruel" treatment of both crocodiles and alligators at Hermes suppliers, PETA has demanded that the company stop production of all accessories created with exotic animal skins. Protests have been staged at the company's New York offices (see: painted crocodile woman, above), but now the organization is looking to work from the inside out.

“As a shareholder, PETA U.S. will work from inside to demand a permanent ban on accessories made from exotic animal skins, including crocodile-skin bags and alligator-skin watchbands,” PETA’s U.K. director Mimi Bekhechi told WWD.

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After reading PETA's report earlier this week, Jane Birkin, for whom the company’s coveted Birkin handbag was named, asked for her name to be removed from the “Birkin Croco” until Hermes employs “better practices in line with international norms.”

Hermes responded to the 68-year-old's request on Wednesday, stating that "an investigation is underway at the Texas farm, which was implicated in the video. Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned."

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Despite the tension, the company also clarified that its relationship with Birkin remains positive, explaining in the statement: "Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years."

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