Fair trade never really seemed a possibility within the world of technology, but that seems to have changed with the appearance of Fairphone on the market. Fairphone is the first phone designed to create a fairer economy. The device features fair trade and conflict free components highlighting the use of these conflict free materials within the supply chain. It has the objective of bringing better conditions to miners and the factory workers making them. The Fairphone is built around 5 principal projects: Mining, design, manufacturing, life cycle and social entrepreneurship.
For the miners: Fairphone aims to provide alternatives for miners in conflict-affected regions by contributing to different mining practices, empowering workers and giving them a fairer wage.
For the workers: Going further down the production line, fairphone’s intention is to provide better working conditions for the factory workers and increase employee representation in the decision making process. The different programs which have been implemented are the worker welfare fund and the social assessment program.
Design: A longer lasting design. The Fairphone 2 brings with it the concepts “longevity” and a “future resilient” design, Fairphone will be selling individual parts so that the phone owner can make repairs to the smartphone themselves, such as screen camera, microphone, speaker replacements, giving the device a second life.
Life-cycle: As well as encouraging reuse and repair of smartphones, other life-cycle initiatives include Responsible e-waste and recycling and safe recycling programs.
Social Entrepreneurship: This project encourages the involvement and communication with end consumers. The aim is to give the consumer a better understanding, and to reveal every step of the process and cost breakdown.
How does Fairphone 2 size up against the competition?
The Fairphone is more robust than the average smartphone and unlike its competitors offers the possibility to replace individual parts. Its “future resilient” design features, means there is the potential to upgrade core features without upgrading the device and includes attractive value added options such as the possibility of a dual-sim card
The technical features of the Fairphone are pretty standard in comparison with other smartphones on the market with the following configuration, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor, a five-inch Full HD screen, and dual SIM. It will have 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and an eight-megapixel rear camera.
To sum up, the Fairphone is not as powerful or sexy as its top of the range smartphone counterparts and priced at €525 isn’t the cheapest handset either. But Fairphone didn’t set out to design a top of the range sexy looking smartphone, but what they have achieved is a regular looking smartphone with a conscience. And with 60,000 Fairphones 1 sold it seems that it is not only about looks but that the consumer is wanting to make a difference.
To find out more about Fairphone; www.fairphone .com