Bye, built-in obsolescence

It was Mother Teresa who once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a Fairphone across the waters to create many ripples.” Okay, maybe we doctored this quote a smidge – but like Mama T, we dig the idea that change starts with the individual. Fairphone looks like the first step in a long overdue wake up call to the smartphone industry, and boy is it making waves. Often unethical and wasteful, many of the existing industry’s facets rely on consumerism and built-in obsolescence to thrive. Fairphone know that a fair economy outside of the current framework needs to be built: one where there’s a demand for materials that benefit both the consumer and the planet.

Their solid, simple and sustainable dual-sim Android uses conflict-free minerals and transparently-sourced gold, tungsten, tin and tantalum – to create a modular design that ensures longevity. Fairphone make a point of understanding the materials in smartphones to optimise design and meet their goals: long-lasting parts, fair materials, good working conditions, reuse and recycling. Any user can disassemble and repair it, so if (like most people) you don’t know the ins and outs of how a smartphone works, you can learn how to whip the case off and mess around with its guts. At the moment, Fairphones are only available in Europe, but plans have been made to expand, and if the passion of the Fairphone community is any indication of growth, we’re expecting the rest of the world will be getting their own stones to skip very soon.