VitrA's rich heritage can be traced back to 1909, when renowned Turkish pharmacist Süleyman Ferit Eczacibaşi began producing bathing and cologne products at his pharmacy in Izmir. Three decades later, his son, Dr Nejat Eczacibaşi took the family business a step further by establishing a pharmaceutical laboratory in Istanbul. The business continued to grow steadily, and by 1952 he had opened Turkey's first modern pharmaceutical factory.
Within a few years, Eczacibaşi's vision had grown further still, and with the establishment of Turkey's first ceramic sanitaryware factory in 1958, VitrA was born. It all started with a small workshop in the Istanbul district of Kartal. The year was 1942 and an eight-man team worked tirelessly to supply the country with a variety of earthenware products that couldn’t be imported to Turkey during the Second World War. The Dr Nejat Eczacıbaşı Ceramic Factory, as it was then called, was the forerunner to VitrA.
After the war, economic revival was accompanied by a construction boom which meant there was increased demand for ceramic sanitaryware and the Kartal factory led the way. In 1958 the company opened its first modern production plant dedicated to ceramic sanitaryware, following a surging demand for the material as marble lost its popularity. By 1966, VitrA was adopted as the brand name, a shortening of vitrify (to create something resembling the hardness and polish of glass) or vitrified products – ceramic ware.
In order to diversify the company, a brassware production plant opened in 1979 – a strategic bid to offer complementary bathroom products alongside sanitaryware. Then an uncontested leader on the Turkish market, VitrA launched the brand internationally in 1983. Today VitrA is considered the leading global provider of a full range of bathroom components. VitrA supplies millions of pieces of ceramic sanitaryware each year. Fifty percent of the brand’s production is sold abroad through a powerful distribution network that includes over 150 showrooms and 2,000 sales points, in major cities in over 75 countries on five continents.
Many things have changed since the outset in 1942, but VitrA draws on its proud heritage to create contemporary bathrooms and tiles with timeless appeal and accessible luxury.