The only news website
dedicated to Lichfield & Burntwood

Whittington entrepreneur brings colourful hats of Madagascar to the UK

A Lichfield man is using his head to create a new business – selling hats from Madagascar!

The idea for the Whittington-based company was born more than 9,000 miles away six months ago when Rob Kinghan set off to explore the tropical island.

Some of the makers of the hats in Madagascar

Some of the makers of the hats in Madagascar

As he travelled across the island, Rob was struck by the incredible range and quality of hats being sold in the local markets in so many different colours, shapes and sizes. And so the idea of setting up a business exporting them  grew and MadaHats – a business importing a unique range of colourful raffia summer hats from Madagascar – was born.

Rob said: “The main market in the capital, Tana, became my home from home as each Thursday and Friday I could be seen negotiating, ordering and collecting hats as well as making friends and having fun.

“Now the hats have arrived safely in England and I am selling them in markets (including Lichfield) and festivals throughout the summer.”

To buy a hat or find out where Rob is selling them, email

More than half of the hats are bought directly from small artisan hat makers. By dealing directly with Malagasy artisans, Rob believes he can contribute towards achieving a steady and improved income for the makers. A proportion of the profits from MadaHats will also be donated to the Madagascar Development Fund. All the hats are made from raffia, a renewable and biodegradable material grown by villagers.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.


1 Comment

  1. nigel mason

    30th June, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    nice to see the city so busy,for a flame on a stick.Better than a Bower day,,watch and learn Bower commitee.