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Why It's Hard to Make an Ethically Sourced Smartphone

Why It's Hard to Make an Ethically Sourced Smartphone
Courtesy Fairphone

A Dutch startup called Fairphone has just unveiled what is being heralded as “the world’s first ethically-sourced smartphone.” That’s supposed to mean the company’s supply chains won’t end up using, say, criminal gangs in poor countries or employers of improper child labor. But the handset is nowhere close to 100 percent ethically sourced. “That would be nearly impossible,” says Bibi Bleekemolen, a researcher for the company.