The Fairphone was shown off as a prototype over a year ago, and now is finally going on sale in the UK.
Touted as the first handset on the road to an ethical smartphone, the Fairphone will be stocked exclusively in The Phone Co-op, the UK’s only consumer-owned mobile phone operator, Business Green reports.
“We are delighted that our partnership with Fairphone means we are able to build on our reputation as the leading ethical provider of telecoms, by supplying what must be the most ethical mobile handset on the market,” Vivian Woodell, chief executive of the Phone Co-op, said in a statement.
“Fairphone’s initiative raises awareness of important issues about the supply chain for products we use every day. This partnership brings together two of Europe’s most radical and dynamic social enterprises, organisations with shared values, to make a difference in our industry.”
The Fairphone has shunned certain ‘conflict materials’ – i.e. those sourced from conflict zones. The tin and tantalum in the device is sourced through the Conflict Free Tin Initiative and the Solutions for Hope sustainable supply chain initiatives. However, although the company is working towards a truely ‘fair phone’, this model has not hit that milestone just yet.
“For the current Fairphone we can only ensure that tin and tantalum are conflict free but until now, we cannot trace any of the other minerals that were used,” an official company spokesperson told us. “Of course our ultimate goal is to be able to trace all the minerals which come to our phone and ensure that no conflict minerals are used but this is work in progress.”
You can swap out the battery, use a standard micro-USB charger, and put in two SIM cards in a bid to reduce waste.
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It will be available on plans starting at £22 a month through Co-operative Mobile, or £21.50 (excluding VAT) from Co-operative Business Telecoms.