Fairphones makes fairer and longer-lasting phones
Fairphone has developed a modular smartphone, in which each component can be replaced easily. The new conflict-free phone can be deconstructed in minutes using a screwdriver. It comes in its own protective case, because even though every part can be replaced, the idea is longevity.
Fairphone is a social enterprise which started in 2010. It launched its first smart phone model in 2013 after a crowdfunding campaign. Its mission is to produce mobile phones free of minerals from conflict zones, like coltan and gold, which are often used to fund wars. The new Fairphone also avoids waste by making every component replaceable.
The second version came into production earlier this year. It comes in a vibrantly coloured case to protect it and with simple instructions so you can fix it yourself. By creating a smartphone, Fairphone is using commercial strategies to maximize its social impact at every stage of the value chain, from sourcing and production to distribution and recycling.
The ultimate aim of the company is to start a process in which smartphones become longer lasting and use materials from fair sources and in which components are reused and recycled. The company strives for good working conditions, fair wages and worker’s representation throughout the line.
The Fairphone is more than just a smart phone, it is a storytelling device to raise awareness about conflict-minerals, and the shift towards a circular economy. It endeavours to be transparent about where its raw materials come from and how it is made. There will never be a 100% conflict free phone, but you can follow the company’s progress as it endeavours to achieve its goal.
In October 2016, Fairphone received the Blue Angel certification in Germany for aspiring to better environmental standards.
The Dutch government has pledged to achieve a 100% circular economy by 2050. In just over one generation, the world will be inhabited by nine billion people. This will inevitably put huge pressure on resources. The Netherlands itself is densely populated, with a population density of 18% compared to 0.5% globally. Societies across the world have to switch to sustainable sources in order to feed, clothe and shelter their growing populations. Dutch industries, knowledge institutes, and citizens in partnership with government want to lead the way, creating innovative solutions to tackle the challenges. By launching the Netherlands Circular Hotspot (NLCH) it is our intention to become a living lab, developing and sharing solutions to counter the effects of climate change. In doing so, the Netherlands aims to help leave behind a liveable earth for the next generation.