Throwing our gadgets away simply because we do not know how to fix them or simply can’t continues to take a huge toll on our global waste crisis, with potentially disastrous outcomes. It doesn’t help that the manufacturers who make the majority of these products aren’t doing much to help us lessen our impact.
Fairphone, however, appears to be a rare objector. […] the Fairphone 3 that appears to prioritize transparency, accessibility, and greater usability over gigantic piles of money (ahem, Apple). […] the company shows it’s committed to challenging a pattern of companies using their monopolies to hold repairs and sustainability hostage with a white-knuckled grip.
In an announcement […] the company specifically pointed to myriad problems at the heart of the booming device biz, including carbon dioxide emissions, electronic waste, poor sourcing practices, and miserable working conditions.
“a phone that is designed to last.” […] the phone is made up of seven modules—including an 8 MP front-facing camera and a 12 MP Dual Pixel rear-facing camera—that can be easily switched with repair parts. The phone comes standard with Gorilla Glass 5 as well as 64 GB that can be expanded to more than 256 GB with a MicroSD card. It also comes with Android 9, but TechCrunch reports that a future upgrade will allow users to instead opt for the Android Open Source Project.
Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens said […] the company “developed the Fairphone 3 to be a real sustainable alternative […] we want to motivate the entire industry to act more responsibly since we cannot achieve this change alone.”
Right to repair was first lost when consumers started tolerating proprietary batteries. Then proprietary non-replaceable batteries (NRB’s). Then disposable devices. Then pre-paid charging. Then pay per charge. It keeps getting worse. The only way to stop it is to go back to the beginning and eliminate the proprietary NRB’s. Before you can regain the right to repair, you first need to regain the right to open your device and put in new batteries.
You can quickly see a little of what right to repair is about in these videos:
There are 2 subreddits committed to ending the reign of proprietary NRB’s:
Another notable subreddit with right to repair content:
When right to repair activists succeed, it’s on the basis revoking right to repair is an anti-competitive monopolistic practice, against the principles of healthy capitalism. Then, legislators and regulators can see the need to eliminate it, and the activists win. No company ever went out of business because of it. If it’s a level playing field where everyone plays by the same rules, the businesses succeed or fail for meaningful reasons, like the price, quality, and diversity of their products, not whether they require total replacement on a pre-determined schedule due to battery failure or malicious software “updates”. Reinventing the wheel with a new proprietary non-replaceable battery (NRB) for every new device is not technological progress.
research found repair was “helping people overcome the negative logic that accompanies the abandonment of things and people” […] relationships between people and material things tend to be reciprocal.
I like this solution, because it’s not heavy-handed:
Anyone who makes something should be responsible for the end life cycle of the product. […] The manufacturer could decide if they want to see things a second time in the near future or distant future.