As of 2017, KITA-HATU is proud to present its own brand.
KITA-HATU stands for high-quality clothing – made of hand-loomed fabrics – all lovingly hand-sewn in our atelier in India. Our accessory label “Selected by Kita-Hatu” offers beautiful, handpicked accessories, and select jewelry.
Kita-Hatu's name comes from the village, Kitahatu, in the Indian State of Jharkhand. It is home to many of the indigenous peoples of India – the “Adivasi” (meaning first people). They are the earliest inhabitants of the subcontinent. Left behind by the rapid development of other parts of India, the Adivasi still retain a partial barter economy. Forest produce, along with agriculture, continue to be important sources of livelihood. In the case of the Kitahatu village, goods woven on the villages’ primitive handlooms also represent a contribution to livelihood.
In 2006, the looms of Kitahatu and the neighboring villages were idle. Heidi saw an opportunity to create a win-win situation. She started working with the loomsmen of the villages to create beautiful and unique hand-woven fabrics and developed new products for the local market.
The Kita-Hatu Brand was launched in August 2017. A collaboration between Heidi Birrer and Manuela Peng Job; their diverse backgrounds complementing one another, introduced the brand to interested parties in Zurich with the ultimate goal of expanding the Girls2School Program. The Girls2School Program sponsors a few girls’ education from primary education to adulthood.
In the first half of 2018, Manuela Peng Job left Kita-Hatu for personal reasons.
In July 2018, Heidi, with the support of friends and family, established the Kita-Hatu Association, a non-profit organization. A first sales event under the new fully non-profit organization was held mid-July. The Kita-Hatu brand is licensed to the association. All proceeds from the sales of goods go to the Kita-Hatu Association and are used to finance the costs of the Girls2School sponsorship program, and the Atelier.