How green are our phones? Yes, Apple would like us to think that they are hashtag winning with green iPhones but they’re actually making it super challenging to reuse the product. So where does that leave us?
With a phone that has a heavy conscious, for one. Yes, it is a slight hyperbole to say that but in a world where you need a smart phone, a product that we have no control over, one can feel so helpless. Is there a better option? Maybe—and it might be the Fairphone.
This hippie sounding Dutch Android™ (Sigh.) is leading the charge in smart phones actually being smart by rethinking their impact on the world. As Fast Company shared earlier this year, the phone seeks to be an ethical device by being produced with conflict-free materials and with a DIY design, where buyers can repair phones and control how their phone work themselves. In addition to trying to reduce e-waste and keep phones out of landfills, this very garage-tech operation is seeking to pick up where big makers like Apple are dropping the (Earth) ball by keeping the reuse cycle open and engaging with workers who are underserved.
This is great but I know what you’re going to say: is the phone any good? It seems to be resoundingly fine, so says Wired, The Verge, and The Guardian, who summed things up best with their reading of the product.
But does that really matter if you are buying the Fairphone because of its aims? The ideal would be something that looks and works like an iPhone, but is made and sold by a company like Fairphone. And that’s unlikely in the near future at least.
In the mean time, as long as something’s at least adequate, which the Fairphone certainly is, ethics win.
Sure, yes, that is true: if you are getting a Fairphone, you don’t necessarily care about if the phone works the best, the best, the best: you’re more concerned with it being the best, the best, the best for the planet.
So should we all switch to this phone? Eventually, perhaps. I am extremely tempted buy into this product as it’s so refreshing: no one else has taken on this task of making a phone with a conscience. Win-win, in that regard—and hopefully a larger brand like Apple will adopt them, to truly make the best phone possible. But will a brand like Apple put money hungers aside to think about the future and the world? Only on the surface, as they’re doing now.
Here’s to you, Fairphone. Keep it up.