Fairphone is a social enterprise company which aims to develop smartphones that are designed and produced with minimal environmental impact. The company is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands and was supported in its startup phase by the Waag Society, a foundation which aims to foster experimentation with new technologies, art and culture.
Fairphone was founded to develop a mobile device that does not contain conflict minerals (which in smartphones are typically gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten), has fair labour conditions for the workforce along the supply chain producing it and help people to use their phone longer.
The second version of the company's device is one of the first modular smartphones available for purchase – designed to be easily repaired and upgraded.
Fairphone was founded by Bas van Abel, Tessa Wernink and Miquel Ballester as a social enterprise company in January 2013, having existed as a campaign for two and a half years. The company's website states that its mission is to "bring a fair smartphone to the market – one designed and produced with minimal harm to people and planet". Fairphone's founder van Abel acknowledged in 2017 that it was currently impossible to produce a 100% fair phone, suggesting it was more accurate to call his company's phones "fairer".
Fairphone won the award for fastest-growing European tech startup at The Next Web conference in April 2015.
The Fairphone 2 was the first smartphone to be awarded with a 10/10 score at iFixit for repairability.
Fairphone's founder and first CEO Bas van Abel was one of the three winners of the German Environmental Award in 2016.
Fairphone is a certified Benefit corporation.
The Fairphone 2 was the first mobile phone to receive Blue Angel certification.
In 2019, Fairphone won the Partnership Of The Year prize at the Responsible Business Awards.