Here's an Idea: Turn the Pythons Invading the Everglades into Handbags

Illustration for article titled Heres an Idea: Turn the Pythons Invading the Everglades into Handbags

New York designer Camille Zarsky makes python-skin handbags. She imports her materials from Europe, but she'd like to start sourcing a little closer to home, and she suspects she could even do a bit of ecological good—by making her products out of Florida pythons, Fast Company reports.


See, the Florida Everglades are basically overrun with pythons, an invasive species putting a dent in all manner of local, native wildlife, even alligators. They're terrible for the ecosystem, and it's gotten so bad the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sponsored a big python hunt—excuse me, "opportunity to competitively harvest" the invaders.

Realizing the opportunity, Zarsky started meeting with some of the South Florida oddballs who've set up shop as semi-professional python hunters and has even become buddies with one in particular, in what is perhaps the greatest hook for a sitcom ever:

"I get texts from him that literally say, 'Hey Camille, how about this one, do you like it? I caught it last night.' And it's a photo of him standing in a swamp with a python in his arms," says Zarsky. "He's in rubber boots and a wife beater and jeans, and you can see there's a knife in his pocket, like something out of a movie."


The trouble is, while the skins are plentiful, she's having trouble finding a Florida tannery that can process the skins like she needs. Sending them to Europe (where they typically import skins from Asia) is prohibitively expensive. So if anyone's looking for a career change, you know who to call.

Image via Getty

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I personally think this sounds like the setup to a potentially delightful sitcom/romcom. Big city fashion designer has to go back and forth from NYC to rural Florida for python skins. You will have the kooky characters in both settings. Obviously she will fall for the handsome python wrangler who teaches her about the joys of the simple life.