The FairPhone is made with fairly mined minerals, built under good labour conditions, and is entirely recyclable–all things your current phone probably isn’t.
Bas van Abel leads an innovative electronics company. But, unlike Apple or Samsung, he’s not particularly interested in the latest voice activation or finger-swiping technology. No. He’s keener to see disruption in the back-end: in the mines producing minerals like tin and tantalum, the factories that make phones, and the systems that recycle them.
Controversy has dogged the phone supply chain recently. Apple has been criticized for troubles at Foxconn, its enormous Chinese supplier. Campaigners like Global Witness and the Enough Project have shed light on African mines that fund warlords, and employ child labour. And, there are continuing stories about how e-waste recycling puts distant workers at risk, and pollutes the environment.