Louisiana Local Says Hermes is Hoarding Gator Skins

Just another reason to buy local: as demand continues to dwindle for croc and alligator products like watches and luxury handbags, suffering Louisiana farmers have started pinning blame on Hermes, the mega-luxe French house that began breeding its own gators in Australia last year (in addition to buying up tanneries since the mid-'90s, according to The New York Times).

In the Times article, the brand denies that it's looking for an exotic leather monopoly, but as small farmers begin opening zoos and roadside exhibits just to make ends meet, suspicions that Hermes is hoarding its gator supply to drive up prices for other high fashion houses continue to rise.

These are far less glamorous times for alligator farmers, but they're also less bloody.  If, however, you can't be convinced to trade your exotic leather wallet or belt for a trip to the zoo, at least take a moment to consider where your purchase is coming from. 

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