Louisiana Overrun With Alligator Skins, Since No One’s Making Handbags With Them Anymore

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Photo: iStockphoto

And now let's journey to Louisiana to see how the recession has affected a small, oft-overlooked sector of the luxury industry: alligator farms. Gerald Savoie Jr. has over 60,000 alligators on his farm, but no one to sell them to. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Savoie told Houma Today. “It’s never been this bad. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, they’re not buying. And if they’re not buying, we’re not selling.” The alligator business is a $60 million industry in Louisiana. Luxist reports that Vermilion Gator Farms Inc. generally sells 75,000 hides a year, but it hasn't sold a single skin in a year and expects to not sell a skin for a year on top of that. Alligators: the recession's cats.

Alligator skins are used for things like bags, belts, and shoes. But things made of alligator are expensive, so no one's buying them anymore. So PETA should be happy right? Wrong. Their hides are already on the market collecting dust. Last month 840,000 tanned hides were on the market in the U.S., waiting to be sold to tanners. Normally there are just 275,000 on the market. But if these farms won't make any sales for another whole year, now would be a great time for PETA to stage a great rescue mission and start a Clarissa Explains It All–inspired campaign to get the nation to take them in as pets.

Drop In Luxury Purse Sales Means Alligator Glut For Louisiana [Luxist]
Alligator farming struggles along with economy [Houma Today]