Do you bike to work? Hug trees? Buy only organic fair trade sunglasses and save baby whales on weekends? Congratulations you’re living sustain…wait, what’s that in your pocket? Is that a smartphone?
We all have one (well, not all of us, I'm looking at you insufferable flip phone connoisseurs) and by now we probably all know how truly dirty, both environmentally and socially our favourite little electronic devices actually are (unfortunately the luddites have earned the moral high ground on this one.)
Newsweek has called it “the world’s first modular smartphone”. Ifixit.com says it’s “a wakeup call to an entire industry”.
Fairphone also claims that its components are recyclable. Simply send your damaged components or whole phone into the company and they’ll take care of the rest.
While this might not seem like a big deal, it is when you consider that conflict minerals fund wars that kill millions, all so we can have the newest gadget to capture the perfect #selfie.
Humane Working Conditions A Priority
On the manufacturing and labour front Fairphone seems to be making an effort to clean up an industry that is known for its inhumane and toxic working conditions. Their website states that they have set up an elected
Most importantly, in successfully bringing the Fairphone to market for a reasonable price, its makers have set a new standard for what is possible in terms of responsibility and sustainability in the electronics market. What remains to be seen is if the big players will follow the lead of the little guy trying to be green.
Great article discussing conflict minerals
Bloomberg article on the dirty business of recycling electronic waste: