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In the last few years smartphones have have become ubiquitous, connecting people worldwide and becoming an everyday, multipurpose tool. Yet, non-ethical sourcing of materials and worker exploitation in their production has left a sour taste in consumers’ mouths. In 2013, the people at Fairphone unleashed a game-changing, socially- and environmentally-conscious upgrade to the standard smartphone. Today, they prepare to release the Fairphone 2 model and it is ready to impress.
The design and production of Fairphones will continue to include sourcing of conflict-free tin and tantalum from The Democratic Republic of the Congo for its parts, extend its partnership with a worker-controlled production company in China, and continue their efforts with an e-waste recycling program in Ghana. Beyond these progressive endeavors, they also are steadfast with their intent to keep the design for Fairphone 100 percent original. This will allow for the progression of the product to always align with the company’s values by closely controlling materials used, choosing reputable suppliers who share their mission, and ensuring consumers are receiving quality, long-lasting products.
The durability of Fairphones is one of its finest features. Each device is designed so it can be completely disassembled and repaired by the user, with the help of tutorials. This means less consumers impatiently trashing their year-old phones for a new device, which takes quite a toll on the environment and laborers. The Fairphone 2 will also feature a back cover so sturdy that a case is not needed, extending its life and decreasing the need for replacement parts. Other features include a full HD 5-inch display, dual SIM capabilities, and the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 platform.
Sales since the first model was released hit 60,000 and Fairphone is taking preorders for the second model this summer, which are planned for distribution in the fall. While they will only be available in Europe this year, hopes are high this crucial technology will hit other continents soon.
Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
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