Fairphone is a Dutch social enterprise combating e-waste by making modular phones, designed to last. Old phones are collected for reuse and recycle.
Modular for easy repair.
Returned phones are resold or recycled.
For each of 14 focus materials that go into making a phone, Fairphone is working to source them from the most responsible mining initiatives as well as setting realistic goals for increasing the percentage of recycled materials used. About half of the copper and plastic in Fairphone 3 comes from recycled sources. However, suppliers' environmental waste/water management is not an area where Fairphone is actively driving change, they request all suppliers to follow industry standards.
Fairphones are designed for disassembly; no part is glued shut, so even non-experts can easily replace broken components with spare parts available in the online store.
Closing the loop
The European take-back scheme was launched in 2017 to raise awareness and encourage more people to return their phones for further use or to be recycled, eventually working to become e-waste neutral. Of the used phones returned to Fairphone, 55% are refurbished and resold, and the rest are safely recycled in a European facility.