For more than 10,000 years since the process of leather tanning was developed, it has always been thought that it is impossible to tan hides without using large amounts of water. But Leather has been working towards reinventing one of the world’s oldest industries by developing and refining a way of using the moisture already present in the hides. ECCO Leather tans and supply leather goods and shoes to over 2,200 ECCO shops and more than 14,000 sales points worldwide.

External customers, including some of the world’s iconic luxury brands, also source materials from ECCO Leather. By owning our own tanneries, ECCO is perfectly placed to develop a more sustainable tanning process.

Five years in the making, ECCO Leather’s tannery in The Netherlands operates in a sustainable using the proprietary DriTan™ technology developed in-house that by drastically saves approximately 20 litres of water to tan each hide.

This means that ECCO saves more than 25 million litres of water annually, which is enough to hydrate about 9,000 people, according to the World Health Organisation’s figures.

The leather produced using this amazing technology is also indistinguishable from traditionally tanned leather in terms of quality, characteristics, stability and lead-time. Reducing waste water and chemicals As a result of reduced water and chemicals usage with the DriTan™ technology, the annual discharge of waste water at one ECCO Leather tannery alone is reduced by 600 tons of sludge. This means 40 fewer truckloads of sludge is deposited in landfills per year.


To showcase this innovative technology, ECCO has launched a version of the iconic ECCO SOFT 8 sneaker in four colours using DriTan™-produced leather.