Fairphone is a Dutch company which, since 2013, have made smartphones which can be repaired by their owners and which can be entirely recycled at the end of their life. They also contain no conflict metals, that is metals which are mined in conflict zones. They also try to make all productive processes as low impact as possible. And everyone who works for Fairphone is paid a fair wage — even if they work in a factory in China!
How do Fairphones compare to Apple and Samsung phones? Well, the Fairphone 2 is a slightly expensive mid‐range smartphone. You can take better pictures with an iPhone X or a Samsung Galaxy and they’re probably a bit more reliable. But you certainly can’t recycle them, or repair them yourself, or be happy about the environmental and social aspects of their production.
Fairphone owners tend to accept slightly less functionality and reliability because we want to support a company which has a vision we share:
- Products that can be upgraded, repaired and recycled — see the Restart Project
- An end to the mining of conflict metals — see the Global Witness conflict minerals campaign
- Minimal impact on the environment — see the rest of this website!
- Fair wages for all — see the Fair Wage Network
Alexis has had a Fairphone since 2014. Actually he’s never had any other smartphone. He quite often uses it as a way to talk to people about the environment.
Blanche used to have a Samsung Galaxy because of the camera quality, but it was stolen in May 2017. She replaced it with a mid‐range Samsung because the Fairphone was 200€ more expensive. But for her next phone she’s promised to look seriously at the Fairphone. After all she certainly can’t upgrade, repair or recycle her Samsung!
Of course, the most environmentally friendly thing to do would be to stop using smartphones!!! And that’s what Alexis is planning to do when his Fairphone 2 dies.