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LVMH Creates New Standard for Responsible Crocodile Leather Sourcing

Luxury fashion group LVMH has launched a new standard for the responsible sourcing of crocodile leather.

The Paris-based company, which includes luxury leaders like Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Christian Dior, Fendi, Berlutti, Celine and Marc Jacobs in its Fashion and Leather Goods unit, is rolling the program out at three pilot farms.

As part of its comprehensive approach to animal husbandry and animal welfare, LVMH said the new requirements were developed and validated by a committee of technical experts, including the independent testing and certification organization NSF International.

The three farms that supply Heng Long, an LVMH-owned tanner based in Singapore, have been certified according to the standard. The certification strengthens the tannery’s traceability requirements. LVMH said 20 additional crocodile farms, in Australia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, the Philippines and the U.S., that supply Heng Long will be certified before the end of 2020.

“LVMH has decided to set a new frame of reference by launching a new standard for the industry, whose regulations seemed insufficient to us,” said Jean Baptiste Voisin, strategy director for LVMH and a member of its executive committee.

The standard is based on four pillars–the preservation of the species and respect for the local communities, animal welfare along the life stages of the animals, working conditions of men and women on the farms, and environment protection. The company noted that the acquisition of Heng Long in 2011 was the first key step in having control over the full supply chain of crocodile leather.

Heng Long was granted the Leather Working Group (LWG) certification in 2017 based on its respect for the environment and the working conditions offered to its teams. The Leather Working Group consists of member brands, retailers, product manufacturers, leather manufacturers, chemical suppliers and technical experts that have worked together to develop an environmental stewardship protocol for the leather manufacturing industry.

LVMH said the new certification program is part of its global strategy encompassing total animal sourcing that will be unveiled later this year and will complete the LIFE (LVMH Initiatives For the Environment) program.