I’M A HYPOCRITE or THE SMARTPHONE STRUGGLE – child labour for a blogger’s new phone?

Social media is my thing. I spend a lot of time on my phone. I text, I watch Youtube videos, I scroll through Facebook and Instagram is my passion/ part-time job. I do spend a lot of time on my laptop too. I study for university, I write blog posts and I research stuff online (fair fashion companies, articles about labour conditions and more).
Currently I own a MacBook Air and an iPhone 6s although my iPhone is 2-3 years old and is slowly and painfully dying. I guess I’m a sucker for apple products. I love the design, I love how easy it is to use (the software) and I love that I can send photos from my laptop to my iPhone in seconds using Airdrop.

What I don’t love is the company’s production conditions. Apple is an unethical company and there is no doubt about it. They are violating human rights by supporting child labour and sweatshops. There’s a new video by the one and only Kristen Leo (her amazing blog here and her amazing Youtube channel here – it’s all about ethical fashion, vegan living, sustainable lifestyle and more) talking about Apple’s support of child labour by using unethical cobalt that you need to watch:

I want to write another detailed blog post explaining what exactly tech companies are doing that is unethical, inhumane and unsustainable but let’s keep it as that for now. Because I want to write about my personal decision and struggle here.

You all know that my closet is almost 100% filled with vegan and ethical clothing and that I buy exclusively ethical fashion. You may also know that I ditched chemical beauty products a long time ago and only use natural skin and hair care, as well as makeup products where lots of my beauty products are zero waste or plastic free. I even use mostly natural cleaning products. But what about my electronics? Why am I so unethical purchasing slave labour tech gear? First of all, there are not a lot of ethical tech products out there. A good solution here is definitely second hand (post about buying second hand coming soon!) as Kristen is also mentioning in her video. You won’t support the unethical company since the money goes to the second hand store or the previous owner. However, I am guilty of not buying second hand tech products (yet). The other solution is to buy the ethical tech brands that are available.

A great company for ethical smartphones is FAIRPHONE.

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Their phones have a long lasting design, are made from fair materials, are made under ethical conditions and are sustainable since you can order spare parts and they provide you with videos on how to repair your phone so that it lasts long.  You can buy a fairphone in the colours dark blue, red, white or turquoise here and learn more about the company here.

So what am I doing now since my phone needs to be replaced soon? Will I be like the people I get so frustrated with sometimes. That have the money to purchase ethically and sustainably made clothes but go for designer garments that are made in sweatshops and that pollute the environment. Am I a hypocrite by advertising a sustainable and ethical lifestyle while buying slave labour phones?

That is my struggle at the moment and as much as I hate myself for saying (erm writing?) that, I do have a hard time deciding if I should buy the fairphone or an old second hand iPhone or if I should stick to my bad habits and buy the new iPhone. I will have to decide in the next couple of months and will keep you updated. But I’d love to know what you think! Do you buy second hand? Do you own a fairphone? Will you be buying a new unethical smartphone? And what should I do??

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