01 Jul Growing Demand for US Leather Draws German Tannery to Mississippi
Posted at 07:07h
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The German tannery ISA TanTec is setting up a new production center in Mississippi in response to the growing demand from U.S. shoe manufacturers for high-quality leather that is made in the USA. While not naming which of its customers had requested domestic leather, TanTec lists Timberland, Wolverine, Merrell, Sperry Top-Sider, Teva, Ugg, The North Face, Lacrosse and New Balance as customers on its website.
Like ISA TanTec’s two existing tanneries in China and Vietnam, the plant in Vicksburg stands out thanks to its extremely low consumption of energy and resources. ISA TanTec is investing more than $10 million in the factory, which is expected to employ 370 people in the long term. The plant is expected to commence operations in January 2015.
Many US shoe manufacturers are currently shifting part of their production to America. “Several renowned brands have asked us to help them in this strategy through the production of leather in this region,” says Tom Schneider, founder and CEO of ISA TanTec. The “Made in the USA” label also applies to the source material: ISA TanTec buys around 500,000 hides from Texas every year.
By establishing the tannery, ISA TanTec is also creating a cluster that will enable manufacturers of leather goods such as shoes and belts to set up production in the USA. ISA TanTec will provide both production areas and infrastructure as well as services for engineering and production management. At the same time, companies will be able to use the resources of ISA TanTec in areas such as administration, HR, finance, and logistics.
All ISA TanTec production centers meet the strict requirements of the LITE label (“Low Impact to Environment”). In addition, they are audited according to the ECO2L protocol and certified to the Gold standard of the LWG protocol. The tannery in Mississippi will also comply with these standards.
ISA TanTec is a world leading producer of high quality leather for the shoe industry. Among the long-term customers are companies such as Timberland, Wolverine, Deckers, Clarks, Merrell, Sperry, Rockport, The North Face, Keen or New Balance. ISA Tan Tec employs approximately 850 people in Heshan City (China) and Saigon (Vietnam).