The Creative Reason PETA Bought A Share In Some Of The Biggest Luxury Design Houses

Photo: Pierre Suu/Getty Images.
Louis Vuitton's newest shareholder had an altruistic reason for purchasing their stock. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has bought one share of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton corporation in the hopes of persuading them to stop the use of exotic skins in their products, reports The Cut.

The parent company of Fendi, Céline, and Louis Vuitton, LVMH has never shied away from using exotic leathers, going so far as to purchase an entire crocodile tannery back in 2011. PETA took notice, and last December, the animal advocacy organisation produced a video showing the mistreatment of crocodiles on a Vietnam farm allegedly used to supply fashion brands like the trio above with leather for bags, wallets, watches, and other high-end items. This week, they took the cause one step further, securing a single share of LVMH on the Euronext Paris in an effort "to put pressure on the company to stop selling exotic skins merchandise," PETA explained in a written statement.

“Every PETA exposé of the exotic-skins industry has found sensitive living beings crammed into filthy pits, hacked apart, and left to die,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “From demonstrating on the street to speaking up in the boardroom, PETA will push LVMH to stop selling any bag, watchband, or shoe made from a reptile’s skin.”

“Since 2014, the LVMH group and its suppliers definitively ceased working with the farms mentioned by PETA," a spokesperson for LVMH said in a response to the animal rights organisation excerpted on The Cut. "The practices referred to by PETA are totally contrary to the principles and rules of the LVMH group. PETA was informed of all these elements prior to diffusing its video.”

This is not the first time PETA has attempted to influence fashion brands via a little creative playing of the stock market. In 2015, the group bought shares of Hermès International on the Paris stock exchange in an attempt to stop their sourcing of exotic alligator and crocodile skin, later going so far as to attend the Hermès annual shareholders’ meeting in Paris to protest. In 2016, they turned their attention to Prada's use of ostrich skin.

Whether or not they'll show up at LVMH's next shareholders' meeting remains to be seen.
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