Fairphone : the fairest smartphone!

The fairest smartphone is (almost) there! With 5,000 orders FairPhone can start the production. So far FairPhone has sold 3135 phones.

FairPhone is a Dutch initiative that operates from Amsterdam and London. Bas Van Abel, coordinator of FairPhone: “We are convinced it is possible to develop a smartphone with parts that are produced without any harm to the environment. We consider this a voyage of discovery and step by step we look for partners and solutions for the various issues in the long chain from raw material to end product.”

An important condition is the supply of guaranteed ‘conflict free’ raw materials. To achieve this, FairPhone wants to work with the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative (CFTI), which officially started at the end of October 2012 with a first load of tin from a mine in South Kivu. For better working conditions, FairPhone hopes to find solutions via the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), a Dutch body in which NGOs start targeted projects with multinationals and governments. The electro-nics project of IDH runs in 100 production companies in the Chinese province of Guangdong and involves the Chinese government, Philips, HP, Dell and recently Apple. In addition, the aim is to have the FairPhone use open source software, in particular Firefox OS of Geeksphone, and to have it repaired and recycled easily.

Bas Van Abel about the strategy of the project: “Even though we mainly aim to inspire the sector and not so much to be a competitor, the best way to change the whole system is to offer an alternative. That is why this first FairPhone is not fully fair yet, but it will definitely be the fairest around. At the same time, it should become a political object that urges consumers, producers and policy makers to join in the action.”

Photo: FairPhone
Article: the real price of mobile phones and tablets: in search of fair electronics. Trade for Development Centre, 2013