Hermes Breeds Crocs to Skin for Handbags
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2009 4:33 PM CDT
A Gharial crocodile.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Fashion mainstay Hermes is now maintaining its own crocodile farms in Australia to provide skins for its handbags, Reuters reports. “The world is not full of crocodiles, except the stock exchange!” the French company’s CEO joked, feebly. Hermes’ leather-accessory line, which accounts for 40% of company business, has been the most successful in the economic downturn and has had to add employees.

Hermes produces 3,000 crocodile bags a year, and its exotic-skin bags can fetch nearly $50,000. “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,” added CEO Patrick Thomas. “We cannot face demand. We have massive over-demand. We are limited by our ability to train new craftsmen.”