If you own a smartphone, there’s a decent chance that some of the materials used to create it were mined using exploited or child labor.
Cobalt is a major part of many smartphones. And people mine for cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But there’s not necessarily an easy way for smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung to get assurances about the working conditions or labor used in the mines. So those brands don’t make any assurances to consumers about those issues.
Still one brand that does is a relatively new one called Fairphone. The company gets all of its materials made or mined in safe working conditions. And it wants to set a precedent for other manufacturers to do the same.
Fairphones aren’t available in the U.S. yet. And due to the increased obligations involved in ensuring those safe and fair working conditions, it’s unlikely to be a huge bargain for consumers.
The Difference Socially Conscious Businesses Make
But socially conscious businesses have made huge impacts in lots of different industries. And if Fairphone can tug at the heartstrings of consumers by educating people about the exploited workers and child labor used to mine for smartphone materials, it could make a huge mark on the industry as a whole.
Woman Using Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock