The Anita brand began its journey in Dresden, Germany in 1886. The company was first set up by Ernst Max Helbig, great grandfather of present owner, George Weber-Unger. Anita first produced elastic braces and heavy elastic body belts. These products were highly sought after at the time as men and women were heavier set than they are today.
In 1900 Anita began production of their first corsets. Following in 1910 production of their first orthopaedic body belts and trusses began. In 1917 Dr Walter Helbig, grandfather of today’s owner, Georg Weber-Unger, took over the company. Truly a family affair.
Under his leadship the company grew and by 1930 employed 300 seamstresses in Germany. With an annual turnover of 17 million Reichsmark the company became an important producer of braces and corsets.
World War II brought major upheaval to the company. Following the bombing and complete destruction of Anita production sites, a new beginning was ventured in Dresden (East Germany, under Soviet occupation) after the war. During this time, Russia was the main supplier of raw materials and also the largest purchaser of our corsets and girdles.
The production sites in Dresden were ultimately seized in 1971 by the East German state. Which at the time was under communist rule, and the company was declared a state-owned enterprise.
Dr Helbig’s daughter, Dr Christine Weber-Unger, and her husband Dr Heinrich Weber-Unger, parents of present owner Georg Weber-Unger, refounded the company in democratic West Germany. Through a series of coincidences, the first floor of the former Schlossbrauerei brewery in Brannenburg was offered to the company and quickly equipped with sewing machines, serving as the first production site.
The company continued to grow through the years 1960-1990. Dr Christine Weber-Unger was an intelligent woman with a head for business. She was particularly good at sensing “new and promising niches”. Also recognising the potential in creating special “nursing bras” and in designing special underwear and swimwear for pregnant women. She also saw the need for special articles to support women who had undergone breast surgery.
From 1990-2000 Georg Weber-Unger took over the managerial reigns; the company started to expand beyond Germany. Sales and distribution branches were established in France, England, Switzerland and Holland; the company set up its own production sites in Austria, the Czech Republic and Portugal.
Over the next ten years sales and distribution branches were established in the USA, Portugal, Belgium, Spain and Poland. A new building was constructed for our world-wide logistics centre in Kufstein; the company began investing in Asia, establishing its own production branches in Thailand and Myanmar.
Anita continues to grow with the acquisition of their Italian and Canadian importers and foundation of ANITA companies.
The Anita Vision (as stated on their website)
There is nothing more important than a well-fitting bra!
For years now, we have concentrated on achieving optimal fit, quality and comfort in our various articles. We have no plans to stop improving and perfecting our products. Besides practicalities, we also focus on the fashion element of our products. Rather than succumbing to the trend of the moment, we aim to create a “classic chic” look – with designs and styles which are relevant not only now, but which will also look great in years to come.
Furthermore, our products should enhance the quality of life enjoyed by their wearers. We have spoken to hundreds of women over the years. Not only can a high quality and perfectly designed bra give its wearer a sense of security, it can also put a real spring in her step. There is nothing more enjoyable or important than having a well-fitting bra!
With respect to ANITA as a company, it goes without saying that we want to ensure fair remuneration and optimal working conditions for every one of our employees around the globe. We employ over 1,500 people worldwide, who in turn represent 1,500 families. This is a huge responsibility!
All in all, we hope to take as much pleasure in our work and daily challenges in the future as we do now. Considering the fact that some of our employees have been with us for 40 to 50 years, “taking pleasure in our work” should be a universally valid statement! Another aim of ours is to work in a way that spares as many resources as possible. There is enough plastic lying around at the bottom of the ocean without us adding to it!
Anita are certainly achieving their company vision as their sports bras are a great fit, high quality and extremely comfortable. They are lightweight, fit beautifully against the skin and are supportive. We cannot praise them enough. They are packed in individual cardboard boxes so no plastic hanger or bag in sight. Go Anita!
Check out our Brand in Focus: Anita Active blog.