In partnership with Fairphone
Supporting the Right to Repair movement and acting up to it by producing easily self-repairable smartphones, Fairphone is an innovator in the electronics industry… with impact!
Fairphone supports the Right to Repair movement
Launched in September 2019, The Right to Repair campaign fights to remove barriers to repairing products. The community believes products should last longer, and therefore when broken, they should be repaired. This requires products to be designed for repair. It saves the planet valuable resources and consumers money. The movement has grown to over 40 organisations around Europe. Among them are Ifixit, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Greenpeace. As a community of organisations and individuals all over Europe, they ask for one simple thing: the right to repair their devices.
Changing the electronics industry for good
Fairphone, the producer of the first ever modular and repairable smartphone, is a market changer. Former CEO Bas van Abel founded the company in 2013, after successfully raising seven million euros in a crowdfunding campaign. It was not founded with the objective to produce smartphones to earn a lot of money. Fairphone is born out of idealism. They want to make consumers aware of the harmful effects the electronics industry has on people and the planet. Fairphone preaches a market for ethical electronics and motivates the industry to follow its lead. Find out more in this article about how Fairphone leads the industry.
Use your phone as long as you can Unlike big companies, Fairphone is the first electronics company that does not want you to buy its newest phone every two years. Source: Fairphone
Fairphone has a 10/10 self-repair service score
The electronics company makes smartphones that are sustainable in every sense: the devices are produced with fair(er) materials, they pay their factory workers a fair living wage ánd they build their device to last. Their longevity is accomplished by Fairphone’s modularity, resulting in a 10/10 scoring self-repair service. If a part of the device breaks, you can order that one part and easily fix it yourself by just using a screwdriver. When you buy a Fairphone, you have the right to repair. Fairphone not only wants you to use that right. They want you to demand this for the whole electronics industry.
E-waste is a big problem The production of a phone has a major impact on the planet. First, over 50 different materials are used to produce one smartphone and many of those 50 are mined products such as gold and cobalt. Mining these metals often does not happen in a sustainable and fair way. Second, there’s the impact on our climate. Source: Commons.WikiMedia
Monique Lempers, Director Impact Innovation at Fairphone. As Monique Lempers explains: “About 75% of the carbon footprint comes from its production and it has a major impact on our climate and the actual waste that is generated.” Source: Fairphone
52 million tons of e-waste
It is the electronics industry that supplies products – whether it’s phones, laptops or household appliances – that fail or break after a few years. Consumers cannot repair those products and so throw them away. This makes E-waste the fastest growing waste stream in the world. According to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020, 53 million tons of e-waste are produced each year, of which only 15-20% is recycled.
Demands of the Right to Repair movement
The Right to Repair movement demands three main things from policymakers, that should be implemented in how the electronics industry works. Firstly, they want the EU to legislate design requirements for smartphones, laptops and other IT products. Apart from a beautiful yet functional design, the campaign demands ease of disassembly and replacement. Second, they demand fair access to repair. “Repairing a product shouldn’t cost more than buying a new one. We want a universal Right to repair: everyone to access spare parts and repair manuals for the entire lifetime of a product.” (repair.eu) Third, they want consumers to be informed on product repairability when buying a new electronic device.
At Fairphone, all these three demands are already met. Fairphone is a supporter of the Right to Repair movement. Co-Founder and Head of Product at Fairphone, Miquel Ballester Salvà, translates this ideal as:
“Whatever you buy… you should be able to own it, to do whatever you want to do with it and that you can also repair it yourself.”
If you buy a device, you have the right to own it. Ownership, in his vision, also means that you can repair your device when something breaks. Therefore Fairphone’s motto is: “if you can’t open it, you can’t own it.”
Miquel Ballester Salvà – Head of Product at Fairphone It is clear that Fairphone encourages the campaign and aims to make the industry more sustainable and durable. That is why Fairphone makes modular and repairable phones. Miquel Ballester Salvà: “It’s the easiest way you can keep your phone longer. If you drop your phone and your display is broken, then it’s very simple. You need to remove a couple of screws and then just disconnect the old display and connect the new one. It’s really, really easy.” Source: Fairphone
Initiative, innovative, impact
At Fairphone the future is bright and hopeful. Lempers: “I really see that there’s a growing market of green customers that wants to speak with their buying power.”
Many more consumers are actually aware of the impact they (themselves) and their products have on the planet and therefore choose to buy less ór to buy fair(er), sustainable products. Ballester Salvà is also hopeful, as he sees that legislation is picking up in Europe and that the Right to Repair movement is growing and has an impact.
“There’s a lot of things that have been happening in these ten years that have made, let’s say, the big guys also move. And I am proud to say that we (as Fairphone) also played a role there.”
You can tell that Fairphone is a company that shows initiative by supporting the Right to Repair campaign and acting up to it. They made a functional yet beautifully designed smartphone that you can repair yourself. They are innovators, making the repairment accessible, easy and durable – it’s cheaper than buying a new phone. And lastly, they have an impact! Fairphone wants the big companies to change and they actually see it happening.
This article was written by Sam Goutbeek
Change is in your hands
Fairphone wants you to use your phone as long as possible. But if your phone is about to break down and you cannot repair it yourself… think of buying a Fairphone as your best next. Change is in your hands!