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Meet the changemakers: Fairphone Ambassador Marlon Lipke

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We’re on a journey to change the electronics industry – and we’re not alone. While the Fairphone is a physical expression of the possibility of change, it also happens to be a great storytelling device that connects us with inspiring changemakers from all over.

In this series, we want to shine a light on our ambassadors: A group of bright individuals that share our vision of a fairer future and contribute to sustainable change in their own meaningful way. Next up is Marlon Lipke, a world championship tour surfer turned eco-entrepreneur, who inspires in and out of the water.

 Fairphone Ambassador Marlon Lipke in his office.

Welcome to the team, Marlon! Here’s your chance to introduce yourself to our community.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this journey, thanks so much for having me. I’ve built my life around my greatest passion and have spent the last 20 years chasing waves as a professional surfer. While traveling and competing is a full-time commitment, I’ve never really been one-track-minded and was always eager to keep growing along the way. Along with my longtime friend and fellow Fairphone Ambassador Gony Zubizarreta, I co-founded a surf accessories brand called Jam Traction, to make a positive impact. We’re working on incorporating CO2-emissions negative materials into our line of products.

So where did this drive for sustainability start for you? 

I actually grew up on a farm and my parents’ conscious mindset must have rubbed off on me. My dad was big on beach clean-ups, even before it became a marketing thing and was just about, you know, cleaning up beaches. Obviously, with the ocean being my office, so to speak, I’ve always been committed to protecting and conserving it. Some steps are slower to make than others, however. In the past years, I’ve become more and more aware of the effects that a lot of everyday choices have on the environment. Now more than ever, I think innovation and nature should go hand in hand.

You can probably guess what the next question is: How did you first learn about Fairphone?

I still have a vague memory of when the Fairphone 2 first launched. I’ve always been interested in technology, so the idea of a modular phone, by a company that actually encourages repair and ownership really resonated with me. I lost track of Fairphone for a while, until my girlfriend brought it back up when the Fairphone 3 launched in Portugal, where we live. At that point, I was fed up with planned obsolescence, short lifecycles and the constant flagship-hype, so I was ready to make this change. One thing led to another and I found out that Jan, who I know through surfing, works for Fairphone. I bombarded him with all my questions and from then on I was hooked. I can’t imagine using anything else anymore.

Talking about using the Fairphone. Can you share your three favorite #ShotOnFairphone photos with us?

 

This is the first-ever picture taken with my Fairphone. A friend of mine snapped this shot of me, preparing for our first international surfing contest. The colors and detail really pop, capturing the atmosphere of that day pretty amazingly.

 
No filters or editing, just nature doing its thing. I love the dynamic range of the images I get straight out of the camera. Every now and then, I might go for the Android10 auto-optimization feature, but usually, I’m quite happy with the original.
 

Not sure, if the portrait-mode was made for these types of wide shots, but I love the funky result. This picture is from a hike after the contest in Spain. We got a little lost and Puma, our puppy ended up taking a break in my backpack.

It’s great to see, how your Fairphone fits into your personal and professional life. How was the switch to Fairphone 3 for you?

Initially, I braced myself for a bit of an adaptation phase, expecting the switch from iOS and its apps to be hard. It turned out to be quite the opposite. Switching was seamless and it didn’t take long to get used to the new eco-system. It gives me everything I need to do my work and create new content daily. So opting for the sustainable alternative, without needing to comprise in any of my day to day habits was really inspiring. So while I’m still new to Fairphone and still experimenting, tweaking my personal experience, I hope I can encourange anyone considering to make the switch. You’ll get everything you need out of a smartphone, while doing your small part for a better future.

Cheers for your time, Marlon.


You can follow Marlon’s journey on his Instagram @marlonlipke >>

For more on Marlon, and our other Fairphone Ambassadors, stay tuned to this blog or head on over to our community page.

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