People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) bosses have reignited a dispute with Victoria Beckham over her accessories range, rejecting claims the animal-skin products adhere to strict ethical guidelines.
Executives at the animal rights group slammed the former Spice Girls star when she unveiled the collection last year (10), with purses made from crocodile and lizard skin, as well as calf leather.
Beckham's spokesperson brushed off the criticism, saying, "Everyone is entitled to personal opinion and choice, but as with all Victoria Beckham products, the handbags are made to the highest quality and design. These skins sit strictly within the Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) regulations, and are monitored at every step of production. The skins are farmed in America under very tight guidelines."
But on Sunday (17Apr11), a representative for Peta once again took aim at the range, which proved a huge hit when it went on sale in January (11).
A statement reads, "Peta pledges to eat its own cloth hat if the animals skinned to make Victoria Beckham’s bags are humanely or ethically treated. Whether in America or elsewhere, exotic animals suffer tremendously before they are turned into accessories. In the U.S, wild alligators are gaffed (skinned) alive in the swamps, strung up and skinned, or they are raised in filthy, crowded, waste-infused tanks, often in sheds, where the smell alone would knock you over.
"They may be killed by being repeatedly bludgeoned with baseball bats and having their spines crudely severed with hammers and chisels. Exotic skins are produced by incredibly cruel means, no matter how Mrs Beckham’s PR people try to spin it."
Beckham's spokesperson has responded to the latest criticism, telling Britain's Daily Mail, "There is no PR spin here. As is the case for many luxury handbag brands including Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Dior and others, the Victoria Beckham handbag collection features a small number of styles made from exotic skins.
"Working with and using exotic skins, sits within very strict ethical guidelines and we work absolutely within those guidelines to ensure every bag we produce is accredited with the required Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species certificates."