Fair trade phones: the minerals in your smartphone

Do you care about the sustainability of smart devices and the benefits of fair trade? A fair trade phone has a unique mineral mix that uses conflict-free tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold, and cobalt. Conflict-free minerals help to ensure social, economic, and environmental justice throughout the supply chain.

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Do you care about the sustainability of smart devices and the benefits of fair trade? A fair trade phone has a unique mineral mix that uses conflict-free tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold, and cobalt. Conflict-free minerals help to ensure social, economic, and environmental justice throughout the supply chain.

What is mobile fairtrade?

Fairtrade is a certification system that aims to ensure that people meet the standards in producing and supplying a product or ingredient. What is a fair trade phone? It’s not just about paying workers a fair wage. It’s about making sure that the process used to create your phone is environmentally friendly.

Fair-produced mobile phones, fair-traded mobile phones, and mobile fairtrade are all terms for a phone made to positively impact the people who make it, the raw material extraction, and the environment. By choosing a fair trade phone, you’re ensuring that production complies with safety and legal provisions as far as possible.

Fair-trade phone: TCO-certified sustainability certification

Cell phone sustainability is one of the most important issues today. Cell phones are a big part of that, and the industry has proven to be incredibly wasteful. What if there was a way to make cell phones more sustainable?

That’s where the fair trade phone comes in. These phones are made with recycled components and materials from conflict-free mines to have peace of mind in your pocket. They come with an annual certification from TCO (The Council on Economic Priorities), which means they’ve been tested for sustainability and safety by an independent third party.

This certification also means that we’ve got a certified supply chain. This means you can rest assured that every component of your phone was sourced and manufactured in a way that has the lowest possible impact on the environment.

What makes a phone sustainable?

Let’s be honest: smartphones and other mobile devices cannot be and will not be fully sustainable or eco-friendly in the near future.

But we can try to make them as sustainable as possible:

  • with recycled materials, so less goes into making them,
  • with repairable and modular designs, that allow for single components to be upgraded,
  • with biodegradable packaging that can be broken down by microorganisms in soil or water and will not produce toxins when it breaks down,
  • with longer operating system support so the devices can be longer used safely, and
  • higher recycling rates and less resource consumption when you get rid of your old phones.

Eco-friendly fairtrade smartphones: Smaller carbon footprint

We believe that devices should be used as long as possible. This is why we came up with a subscription model for company phones. That model ensures a second or even third usage cycle (“circular economy”). In the end, we want to reduce e-waste, increase the lifespan of the devices through refurbishing and in the end recycle them.

Durable fair-trade phone with replaceable parts

One of the biggest benefits of an eco-friendly fair trade phone is that it comes with replaceable parts and a modular design. These features mean that if you break your screen or need to replace a battery, you can do so without purchasing a new phone entirely. It also means that you can upgrade these modules from time to time, thus not having to discard the entire phone when only a part of it is outdated. Most of these exchanges can be done by anybody. Special skills or tools are usually not necessary.

Modular phone design by Fairphone

Modular phone design by Fairphone and Shiftphone

If something goes wrong with your device, you may have to pay hundreds of dollars for repairs. Or even buy a new phone. However, with an eco-friendly fair trade phone, you can replace individual components without spending large amounts of money or buy new devices —saving money in the long run.

Fair-trade phone built with sustainable materials

These phones are built with sustainable materials, which means safe from harmful chemicals like mercury and arsenic. These chemicals can leach into the ground and contaminate soil, water, and air.

Solid construction, durable, and light phone

A fair trade phone is a smartphone that has been designed with the user in mind. It’s made from 100% recycled plastic and has Fairtrade gold in its supply chain. The phone’s body is machined from aluminum, sourced from ASI-certified vendors. The cobalt and lithium used to make the battery have also been ethically sourced.

Long battery life

These phones have excellent battery life to enjoy uninterrupted communication anywhere without worrying about charging up before heading out. You’re getting a phone that lasts roughly two days under normal use. That means you’ll be able to browse the internet and take photos for much longer than other phones on the market. You can also use it for five hours with apps and two hours on 5G before charging.

Of course, this all depends on how much time you spend actively using your phone and what kind of apps you use, but we think it’s safe to say that fair trade phone users should have no trouble getting through a full day without worrying about running out of juice.  Plus, public charging stations are always available if you ever get low on power while out and about.


Fairphone is a brand known for its high-quality devices and commitment to fair labor practices. The company was founded in 2013 by Bas van Abel who wanted to “put the people who make our phones at the center of our business model.”

You can rent Fairphones from us in our subscription model. By renting phones instead of selling them, Fairphone encourages users to upgrade their devices more often and reduce e-waste. Fairphone devices are also made from recycled materials and are designed in Germany—a country known for its high environmental standards.

Fairphone is a smartphone that stands for fairness. It’s not only about the design and production of the fair trade phone itself but also about how you can use it. You can rent Fairphone devices from Everphone. We call this “Device as a Service.” With this system, you pay only for what you use: the price includes all maintenance costs. A fair trade phone is an amazing opportunity to help reduce waste, essential to protecting our planet’s future.

Final thoughts

These phones are made by companies that pay their employees fairly, provide them with education and healthcare benefits and give them a safe work environment, especially when dealing with CO2 smartphones. The phones are also built with recycled materials, which are great for the environment. If you’re ready to make a difference in the world while still getting a quality product, check out our selection of fair trade phones today.

Check out our comprehensive report about sustainability of mobile devices.


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