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First Ethically Sourced Smartphone Available for Pre-Order

Could buying a phone start a movement? If that phone was one that was built around core principles such as social values, open design, better worker welfare, a long lifecycle, and full transparency, it just might.

Sometimes the tools that make our modern lives richer and easier are responsible for keeping oppressive and dangerous conditions in place in other places of the world, and the ubiquitous smartphone is a great example of that.

But there will soon be another option for those who wish to have a high-tech smartphone while knowing it was produced in the best way possible, putting people ahead of profit at every step.

“Fairphone started in 2010 as an awareness project about conflict minerals in electronics and the wars that the sourcing of these minerals is fuelling in the DR Congo. Fairphone is an intiative by Bas van Abel (then Creative Director at Waag society – an institute that develops creative technology for social innovation) and Peter van der Mark, founder of Schrijf-Schrijf. The campaign ran for 3 years before Fairphone realized that to uncover the story behind the sourcing, production, distribution and recycling, we needed to make the phone.”

The Fairphone, which is built on the Android platform, has as one of its guiding principles the sentiment that “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it.”, and the open design allows for easier adaptability, customization, and repair. Removable and replaceable batteries, dual SIM capability, and the ability to choose the operating system are just a few of the examples of Fairphone being a more ‘open’ phone.

According to the team behind this, it’s not just an ethically sourced smartphone, it’s also a high-performance phone that offers everything we’ve come to expect from a smartphone, such as a super-durable touchscreen, dual hi-definition cameras, a quad core CPU for speed, and plenty of internal memory for storage.

The first-ever Fairphone is now available for pre-order (currently in Europe only) for €325 (about $436 USD), and when the demand reaches 5000 units, production will begin. Learn more (or order yours) at Fairphone.

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