Fairphone, a Dutch social enterprise, has developed a smartphone designed for repairability, aiming to reduce electronic waste.
The smartphone has eight components that users can remove and replace, encouraging longer usage and reducing the need for new devices.
Electronic waste is a significant global issue, with an estimated 50 million tonnes produced annually, and only 20% of it is recycled.
Fairphone focuses on sustainability, using 100% recycled plastic, fairtrade gold and silver, but faces challenges with some materials, including rare metals.
The company aims to improve ethical working conditions in the supply chain and has sold around 550,000 devices since its launch in 2013.
The latest Fairphone model costs £649 (€699) due to in-house production and software updates, but its repair scheme is more affordable than competitors.
The design of most smartphones makes repairs difficult, contributing to a growing number of unused devices globally.
Increasing the lifespan of smartphones could have significant environmental benefits, reducing carbon emissions and electronic waste.
Fairphone believes in changing the business model of the electronics industry, advocating for longer warranties, spare parts availability, and a shift to a subscription model.
Other companies, such as Nokia and Apple, are also exploring repairable smartphone designs, driven by changing consumer preferences and new right-to-repair laws.