About Albot

The company Albot was established in 1998 by Albert Hytteballe Petersen. Since he was young Albert has been travelling in most parts of the world. For many years he had thought about importing things he was excited about brought home from his travels.

I'm on my way to the weavers who weave our raw silk. A one-day hourney from Phnom Penh in rainy season.

The idea for the company is to import high quality handmade goods. In the West, most crafts have disappeared. But in many poor countries crafts are still produced. Paradoxically, we people in the West are mainly interested in the price of products when we import things from poor countries. We import containers of goods produced in factories by workers who have no rights and whose salary is inhumanly low while the things which are of high quality, produced by independent artisans in a very low degree can find their way into our shops. That's what Albot trying to remedy.

From the beginning, our main product has been hand-woven silk. Today, all silk in China, the world's largest silk producer, is machine made in large factories. But some countries in Southeast Asia still have great weavers. Most of our silk we gather in Cambodia. But we also import silk from Laos, Vietnam and other countries. We try not to compromise on quality, and our silk is never mixed with other fibers, it is pure silk, as is our hand-woven cotton.

Through the years we have started to import other things like lacquerware, bags made from recycled plastics, various jewelry made from local small family firms in the Philippines. Many of the things we import are our own design developed in collaboration with our many manufacturers. At least 5 times a year we are out to check and collect goods.

The company tries to meet these four principles:

  1. We do not compromise on quality. The third world can compete not only on cheap prices.
  2. We want only handmade items because handmade goods have human quality. Handmade items will only survive if we buy them. And handmade stuff is usually better.
  3. We try to avoid products or manufacturers that are not up to proper treatment of producers. Fair trade is our goal. If we discover that some of our products do not meet standards on the proper treatment of workers, we will immediately stop the purchase of these goods. Our advantage is that we know most of our manufacturers and buy directly from them without intermediaries. If we meet demands for higher pay, we usually accept them.
  4. Our prices reflect product quality. We spend very little money on marketing, relying instead on telling people about our products to each other. We can not compete with discount chains, but we can definitely compete with any brand stores and shopping chains on quality and price.

The owner of the company ALBOT is also an author and in 2008 he published a novel which deals with silk and Cambodia's recent history. It follows an art dealer who is looking for an expensive silk dress that disappeared during the Khmer Rouge regime. This quest uncovers secrets silk for the main character and let him meet Cambodia's gruesome history in a manner which changes his life. It is available in Danish will later be published in English.