The Hermès Birkin Bag Has Nothing on the ‘Virkin’ Bag (Except Unnecessary Cruelty)

The "V"irkin bag is much better than the Birkin bag.

Every purse lover knows the fashionable weight the Hermès Birkin Bag carries: it’s a name, fashion status, and mark of good taste, all rolled into one. Well, that is if you consider animal cruelty to be in good taste.

Vegans and animal lovers everywhere have never been able to enjoy the high-end lux bag because it’s made of (gag) alligator skin. Really. From alligators. But now there’s a new bag on the block that has everything the Birkin has, except that it’s cruelty-free–as in no more tortured alligators.

Freedom of Animals and animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) recently announced the launch of the “Virkin” bag, a vegan mock-croc purse that has all the class — and none of the cruelty — of the original, much drooled over Hermès Birkin bag.

This creation is a huge deal because: 1)Freedom of Animals is known as the “Céline of vegan fashion” because of its minimalist, high-end designs, and because 2) Hermès was recently outed for animal abuse, thanks to a PETA investigation. According to PETA, the organization recently discovered that Hermès alligator and crocodile supplier farms were treating the animals terribly. PETA reported that the “animals were packed into dark sheds and barren concrete pits,” and that “workers crudely hacked into the necks of some alligators and tried to scramble their brains with metal rods… and some of the animals were still conscious and flailing their legs minutes after workers cut into them.”

And all for the name of fashion…We’d really like a gator or two to get a hold of some of those bags and have their way with them!

While celebrities, such as Olivia Wilde, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Olivia Culpo, are already fans of many of Freedom of Animals creations, PETA and Freedom of Animals are trying to get every big fashion-forward celebrity aware of its new product. Just last week, PETA sent one of the custom bags to Victoria Beckham, a well-known Birkin bag lover. The groups sent the Virkin to help the fashion designer make the cruelty-free switch away from alligator skin products.

The current Virkin bag is part of a limited edition line. A portion of the bag’s proceeds will support PETA. The bags are available at and are listed on the PETA Catalog.

Related on EcoSalon

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Are You A Style Icon?

Plight of the ‘Eco-Birkin’

Image of bag via PETA

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.