The first batch of conflict free and fairly produced Fairphones has been delivered to those who were the first to order the smartphone in summer through crowdfunding. The early adopters seem to cherish their new companion like a precious friend.
Last May designer Bas van Abel launched his Fairphone project on the WDCD stage. Fair, he explained, means that the phone is fairly produced in all stages of production and made with ‘conflict free’ components. Minerals and metals used do not come from mines that support weapon purchases by belligerent groups. Other materials are as much as possible recycled or otherwise sustainably produced and the whole design process is open. Different parts of the phone are replaceable if necessary.
Until now some 15,000 phones have been distributed to their owners across the globe. Fairphone keeps track of their reactions on the community page of the website. We contacted two of them, in Italy and France, to hear their first experiences.
‘I was surprised’
“The first thing I did after opening the box was to open the battery cover,” writes mechanical design engineer Marco Alici from Italy. “I wanted to read the engraved message: ‘You together with 10185 other people helped make Fairphone possible’. Exciting!
“I really like the way Fairphone is made, I like to think that I didn’t pay just for a phone (there are similar and cheaper models in the market), but I paid the right price for the device AND the jobs needed to create it AND the fair materials used in it.
“I was really surprised for the high quality of materials and construction. It’s really good to have in my hands, it gives the sensation of a well done device. Fairphone’s price is hardware plus fairness. Compared to device in the same hardware category, Fairphone’s performances are similar.”
“I received my Fairphone last Friday and must say the long wait has definitely been worth it,” says Franziska Heimburger, who lives in France. “It’s a fully functional smartphone, a beautiful object and it shows that moral considerations do not have to make us settle for inferior products.” Heimburger knitted a cute cover for her Fairphone, the pattern for which she shared here.
For us Fairphone is a great example of what design can do to incite change for an entire industry.