I don’t feel 100% good about the fact that I have an iPhone. Yes, I love the smartphone functionality, FaceTime, free international iMessaging and the idea that my phone can be the window to the world for everything, from hailing a taxi to booking restaurants and accommodation to being my mobile cinema.
However, ignorance is bliss when it comes to its components.
Not that there is much excuse for ignorance any more. Apple have been in the press for using child labour, overworking staff and causing devastating pollution on their factory sites (Read here, here and here).
It is hard to ignore at least the suspicion that big companies are turning a blind eye to human and environmental abuses to feed demand for products in the West, where the appetite for questioning is abated with marketing and offers of regular updates.
Welcome, Fairphone. Hailing from Amsterdam, the magic spring for all things cool, innovative and desirable, Fairphone is attempting to change the game when it comes to smartphones tech so that we don’t have to choose between our appetite for gadgets and our conscience.
Aiming to create a positive social and environmental impact, Fairphone is out to achieve the following:
- Long-lasting design eliminating the irritating treadmill of planned obsolescence and never-ending upgrades
- Fair materials
- Good working conditions
- Reuse and recycling
By opening up its supply chain, Fairphone is starting a long-overdue discussion about the story behind the products because, you know, products don’t really just come from malls.
Attracting big time media attention worldwide, Fairphone is well on the way to achieving its mission of using business as a drive for social change.
And I really want one.