As we first mentioned last week, Hermès Birkin namesake Jane Birkin is calling for a change in Hermès’ treatment of crocodiles after viewing a disturbing PETA video about the methods used to kill the animals that are made into the bags that bear her name. Do you think about that when you shop?

This topic is, admittedly, something I don’t think about all that often. I don’t buy fur because I’m an ardent dog-lover and some of the animals used for fur are a little too close to dogs for me, and I’m not particularly drawn to exotics, which are mostly outside of my budget in the first place. I wear leather, obviously, and perhaps because I’m a meat-eater, this seems like a bargain I settled with myself long ago. We feature bags of all kinds on PurseBlog because we feel as though you guys are well-informed enough to make these kinds of decisions for yourself.

I do care about where the meat I eat comes from, though, and I try to buy as much of it from responsible suppliers as I can, mostly through my local farmer’s market, which I’m lucky to have nearby. It’s more expensive, of course, but thankfully I can afford it, and I feel like the extra expense is worth it to both patronize local small farms and reward those who care for their animals.

Sustainability is something of a hot topic in fashion, too, and brands seem to know that some luxury customers have an interest in the topic. Kering, which owns brands like Gucci, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, treats sustainability as an important component of its business, and Stella McCartney has built a whole bag business on vegan options, which many consider better for the environment, depending on fabrication.

Responsible use of animal products is a big part of a sustainable lifestyle, and it’s not hard to imagine a brand’s transparency about the proper treatment of its animals being finessed into an effective way to communicate to customers about just how seriously it takes the details of its business and the creation of its products. And, of course, luxury is all in the details.

Would transparency about leather processing make you more likely to consider buying from a brand, or is it a non-factor in your mind?

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