Fairbuds XL ‘Superior sound. Sustainably designed’ Explained
How are your Fairbuds XL climate conscious and sustainably designed?
Fairphone has four focus areas when it comes to our sustainability efforts:
- Creating products that last
- Reducing E-Waste
- Fairer Materials
- Fairer Factories
Every year, Fairphone publishes an annual Impact Report which includes documentation verified by third-parties, on our company KPI’s (key performance indicators) for each of the 4 focus areas above, to read our 2022 Impact Report, please click here.
For the Fairbuds XL, these focus areas have been captured in our aim to offer a superior sound experience, sustainable design and reducing their climate impact. In the overview below, you can read more about our proof points and find links to relevant information.
With the label ‘climate conscious’ Fairphone wants to show that we do our best to decrease the impact of our Fairbuds XL on climate change, without implying that the product does not have such an impact anymore.
What Fairphone is doing concretely falls into 3 categories:
- Avoiding emissions: A large proportion of a pair of headphones’s carbon emissions are related to its production (how much this is exactly, Fairphone will know once our Life Cycle Assessment is finished in early 2023). This means that Fairphone can avoid emissions when fewer Fairbuds XL are produced. To get there, Fairphone needs to ensure that the Fairbuds XL can be used for longer than other headphones. That’s why Fairphone has built the headphones to last – with our classic modular design that encourages repairability as well as a long-lasting & exchangeable battery. There are 9 different spare parts which users can buy in our webshop and replace in case anything is broken. All of the components of the headphones are covered in the 9 spare parts. The sending of spare parts rather than full device repairs also saves on weight & size of the shipped boxes in case anything needs fixing.
- Reducing emissions: By using recycled materials in our headphones, Fairphone replaces the production of new (so-called virgin) materials with materials which are already there. Usually, the production process of recycled materials needs notably less energy than the one associated with virgin materials. In this way, Fairphone reduces the emissions caused by the production of our headphones. Using recycled materials instead of virgin materials might sound easy, but it in fact requires a lot of work and collaboration with suppliers in order to make parts of a high-quality product from recycled materials, especially when it comes to plastics.
- Contributing to climate projects: We invest in Gold Standard certified projects that are reducing CO2 emissions while contributing to the communities around the projects. Gold Standard sets the highest requirements for emission reduction projects to get certified. They assure that the projects Fairphone invests in are additional to existing carbon reduction projects and that they contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. The amount to which Fairphone finances these projects is based on the carbon emissions created by the lifecycle (production, shipping, use, and waste management when they’re end-of-life) of the headphones. The amount of CO2 emissions of the full lifecycle will be calculated in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) (publicly available a few weeks after launch). From launch, Fairphone will start investing in these projects, based on a publicly available headphone carbon footprint. As soon as our Fairbud XL’s footprint is available, Fairphone will ensure that our contribution for every single Fairbud XL (including the ones sold before) is in line with its calculated carbon footprint.
With our new headphones, Fairphone continues to improve working conditions of people working in production lines. In addition, Fairtrade gold contributes to better mining conditions and higher pay for people working in mines.
- Fair working conditions: Fairphone is constantly innovating ways to improve job satisfaction for workers in the electronics industry. Together with our suppliers, Fairphone is listening to workers and creating better working conditions with employee representation, income and growth opportunities. We strive to do this in a variety of ways: our living wage program (For each headphone sold, 0.55 USD goes directly to the people working in factories), supplier assessments including worker surveys and dialogue sessions which are verified by third parties, and development of an action plan to further strengthen the working conditions.
- Auditing: The factory was audited by an independent third party against the Amfori BSCI standard, to validate the social and environmental management.
We designed the Fairbuds XL with the same core values as our devices – modularity, repairability, sustainability.
- Fairphone is a member of the Right to Repair Campaign.
- The Fairbuds XL contain 100% recycled aluminum, 100% recycled tin in the solder paste, a travel pouch made of 100% recycled polyester and 80% recycled plastics.
- The Fairbuds XL contain 100% Fairtrade Gold integrated into the supply chain.
- The Fairbuds XL come with an IP rating. This rating provides information about the protection of the device against the intrusion of solids (such as dust particles), and liquids, such as water. The rating of Fairbuds XL is IP54, which means the headphones are protected from dust-ingress and protected from rain. This protection remains even after having opened the device and done a simple repair.
- The modular design makes it easier for users to repair the headphones at home. This encourages people to keep the Fairbuds XL for longer and is both better for their wallet, and for the planet. Since headphones are products that are worn directly on the skin as well as outside, Fairphone also knows that certain parts will show some wear with time, especially those made from soft materials, such as the ear cushions. We therefore paid special attention to making sure users can replace these when needed. So it is not only about things breaking, but also about managing degradation over time.
- The packaging is eco-friendly, which means it is a plastic-free and paper-only box that is made with FSC-certified carton and printed with vegetable ink.
- The Fairbuds XL also come with an app that ensures we can update the headphone software over time which also helps users to enjoy the headphones for the longest possible time.