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About betterfelt.com

 

Welcome!

All the products on this web shop are made by hand of poor Nepali employees.

Employed directly by our Nepali registered workshop Betterfelt NP Pvt. Ltd.

With a monthly salary of minimum 80 $ they are actually provided a relative good salary compared to Nepali standard, where minimum wages are an academic concept, that very few know about. They are also given long term employment, a small saving and 3 months maternity leave.

This, for Westerners, very low salary makes us able to offer you quality products, felted by hand of pure natural materials like silk and wool. In example a pair of superior woolen shoes, that will keep your feet dry and warm all year round. They will cost you only 67 € even though it takes half a day for our artisans to make a pair.

You might think that we are mean, when we so obviously are taking advantage of the poor, but we actually do it with pride, and we think a lot more should do the same. We have applied for and been approved as Fair Trade Importer, to show that we really want to make a difference.

At the moment we are employing around 80 workers who all are able to contribute to the support of their families or to buy education.

Did I mention that we through our fund Betterfelt Welfare Nepal, are accepting contributions? A fund that has enabled us to pay school admission to all the children of our employees for 2013, 14 and 15.

I hope you will explore our shop via the links on the left, and consider buying a pair of our wonderful woolen shoes, a unique plaid of reborn saris and pure natural wool, a durable and beautiful woolen rug or some of the many other lovely, sustainable and practical products made by our employees. Each time you buy, you help us secure our workers place of employment and makes it possible to employ even more. 

If not, I just want to thank you for reading this far, and hope that you will return some other time.

Best regards

 

Thomas Glerup

betterfelt.com

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Betterfelt.com is a Danish company with a production unit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

We are manufacturing various products of woolen felt, that is handmade from pure natural wool.
Most and former we manufacture our popular woolen shoes, but also other items for our home like carpets, cupholders and coffee warmers plus hats, bags etc. The list is long and still growing.

We have an ambition to dress The World in woollen felt.

Our vision

We want to develop an adaptive business that is driven
by the effort of independent and motivated employees.

We will do that by creating an organisation where every individual member
will take responsibility for its own effort and thereby its own profit.

We will work in respect for our surroundings and our trade.

We will show credibility, creativity and openness.

We will offer our customers with the best possible service.

We will constantly work on improving our products and manufacturing to the best thinkable.

We will give attention to new ideas, strange cultures and/or people.

At the same time we will be loyal to our own roots.

The story of betterfelt.com


Way back in 1994 Nanny Glerup got some sheep and a bright idea. She felted a pair of woolen boots and mounted a sole of hide. When her friends and family started to recommend the shoes to others who also discovered how comfortable they are, she decided to make them her living.

She developed a production technique that enabled her to manufacture more than the 2 pairs per day, that she could do by hand.

Her son Thomas Glerup saw how potent this sustainable, light, durable and extremely habitforming product was. 

 He quit his daytime job and started selling the shoes to retailers, who discovered the wools ability to insulate and absorb the moist.

When moving the production to Romania, things started growing fast. At the same time they started a joint venture development project in Nepal, funded by Danida. 

The idea was to create handmade woolen shoes and jobs in one of the poorest countries in The World.

But, Thomas Glerup wanted more, and in 2007 he sold back his share to his parents, and pawned his house in order to develop the workshop in Nepal.

The ambition was to create a business that combines this ancient felting technique with natural materials and modern shoe manufacturing.

By utilizing the low wages in Nepal he has established a fully handmade production in a scale that is interesting for modern western business.

Even though a Nepali worker only can manufacture the same 2 pairs per day as Nanny Glerup could, betterfelt.com is able to manufacture enough shoes at an attractive price.

Dieter Kasprzak from ECCO found so attractive that he bought a private label collection of shoes. In thus betterfelt.com had the large customer which any start up company needs, and was suddently able to kickstart the Nepali adventure.

On the way Thomas Glerup fought, like any entrepreneur, to manage the production, the quality, the liquidity, partners who frauded him, poor lines of communication etc. as he tried to build the fundation of his own brand.

Finally in 2010 it started to look like a profitable busines. The production and the quality was in order and ECCO was still buying slippers in the company. Unfortunately Thomas Glerup should not make his first profit in 2011 as he had expected. The finansial crisis hit The World and cut the shoe retailers purchases. Betterfelt.com unfortunately was in an exposed position, and to regret they lost ECCO as customer in the spring of 2011.

Betterfelt.com was now left with a brand that was just about ready to conceur The World, but unable to do wiythout the basis production to ECCO, and suddently Thomas Glerup was fighting for the survival of his and his companys financial survival.

Many employees lost their job in Kathmandu and the reamaining had to survive manufacturing even cheaper for local retailers.

By a miracle and due to the strong bonds and the trust that was build up between Nepal and Denmark, they succeeded in holding on until they finally in the spring of 2012 got an agreement with Green Comfort.

The owner of Green Comfort Jesper Staermose, had just decided to launch a collection of indoor shoes, and immediately he saw the potential in the woolen shoes from Nepal.

Jesper Staermose even got so exited about the company that he bought half of it, and in this way we hoped to develop the company. However we were not able to survive as supplier for Green Comfort and in 2015 we filed the company for bankrupcy.

Thomas Glerup bought back all the assets and relaunched our own collection of shoes and other products on this web site.

We are enjoying our business today. A business that is making money to its owners and its employees. It is even able to donate money to The Betterfelt Fundwhich is supporting the employees with education, health care and cultural activities.
The history, vision and mission of betterfelt.com