Ecological leather manufacturer ISA TanTec is responding to growing demand for locally produced leather in the US shoe industry with a new tannery due to begin operations in January 2015.

The German company, which also operates two state-of-the-art tanneries in China and Vietnam, is investing $10m in setting up its new production centre in the US state of Mississippi, and eventually expects to employ around 370 people.

The company already counts Timberland, Wolverine, Deckers, Clarks, Merrell, Sperry, Rockport, The North Face and New Balance among its customers, and says "several renowned brands" are seeking US-produced leather as they shift part of their production to America.

ISA TanTec says the "Made in the USA" label also applies to the source material, since it buys around 500,000 hides from Texas every year.

The new tannery in Vicksburg will meet the requirements of the company's LITE label (Low Impact to Environment), with low consumption of energy and resources.

The company's wider vision is to establish a US-production hub where production areas and infrastructure, as well as services for engineering and production management, administration, HR, finance, and logistics will also be available to other leather goods manufacturers such as shoes and belts.

ISA TanTec's Vietnamese production site near Saigon has just been named as one of the best tanneries in the world for its commitment to ecologically and socially sustainable leather production.

Thanks to highly efficient technologies and processes as well as the extensive use of solar power, the plant needs over a third less energy than comparable production sites. Its commitment to worker welfare also means there is a low staff turnover rate of 1.3% - many times lower than the industry average - according to accolade from trade magazine "World Leather".