7 November 2013

New smart phone shines a light on unethical supply chain practices

Customers rarely consider the environmental and social impact of the final product they consume, and many companies hide and obscure the realities of their supply chain, particularly in the electronics industry. Hoping to change this, a Dutch company has released the "Fair Phone", a smart phone that puts social and ethical values first, and that is entirely transparent with its customers.

The Fair Phone strives to ensure all materials are “conflict-free” (though due to supply issues the phone has fallen slightly short) and works with initiatives such as Conflict-Free Tin Initiative and Solutions for Hope. As well as providing a product that has minimised its links to practices that may fund or prolong conflict in Africa (particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo), the phone also hopes to influence large providers such as Apple, Samsung and Nokia to clean up their supply chains.

The phone costs €325, and part of each sale goes towards Closing the Loop, a global programme that encourages the reuse and recycling of old mobile phones. The company has also released a full cost breakdown, outlining all manufacturing and sale costs. Fairphone has received 15,000 pre-orders with 25,000 handsets available.

For more information, click here.