The CEO of ethical handset manufacturer Fairphone called on the industry to make sustainability the next megatrend.
Ban van Abel said the industry needs to come together to make handsets easier to repair to increase the life of devices and reduce the amount of waste products created.
“It’s a bit disappointing that when I walk around here [MWC], everyone talks about trends and the next big thing, but the megatrend we’re all facing is sustainability and it’s just not there,” he said.
Fairphone launched its second handset – the Fairphone 2 – last year complete with a modular design and self-reparable parts. It has now sold 125,000 handsets and 70,000 replacement parts.
In the coming months it will launch an upgraded camera for the device, which the company said was the first self-upgradable hardware element available for any handset post-launch.
To expand its reach the company is looking for new partners to go alongside its existing channel deals with T-Mobile Austria and Swisscom. It also has a supply contract with the City of Barcelona to supply handsets to senior officials. However, many of its sales are still direct to consumers.
“We want to grow our business even further we need to sign partnerships to find channels we don’t already have,” van Abel added.