Kitpas have been making quality art materials since 1937, and have always been the preferred brand for Japanese schools and businesses. In 1967 Kitpas expanded production and added a factory in Bibai-shi, Hokkaido. Bibai-shi translates to Beautiful shell city, and historically had massive waste piles of scallop shells that were causing serious environmental issues. With the help of local government Kitpas developed a patented process to recycle these shell by-products. The use of powdered shells had the additional benefit of making Kitpas Chalks stronger, smoother, and longer lasting.
Kitpas are committed to upholding excellent social values – their mission statement is to produce quality products that do not damage people or the Earth, and to create happiness and satisfaction for their employees. In 1960 they hired their first two employees with intellectual disabilities. Since then they have adapted manufacturing methods and the work environment so they can continue to hire employees with different abilities, and currently 70% of their team have intellectual disabilities.
In 2005 Kitpas introduced the water soluble Kitpas Art Crayons for use on multiple surfaces including glass. This acclaimed product went on to win Japan’s prestigious Stationery Of The Year award.