Hi all, I came across this initiative some time ago, Syllucid. They are just starting with the idea of producing electronics in a different way. They will start producing a usb cable.
I think this can be interesting for some GOSHers as the topic came up in different events. I’m pasting here part of an email I got recently from their newsletter.
[From Syllucid newsletter]
As it stands, it’s impossible to make fully fair electronics. The motivation within the industry and infrastructure simply aren’t there yet. Examples from food and clothing show that fully tracing just one commodity gets very complicated very quickly. This is even more so with electronics which can have dozens of components and hundreds of materials.
This is why we are starting with a USB cable. They are simpler to make and have shorter supply chains, allowing us to focus on a few core materials; gold, tin, copper & aluminium.
Fairtrade isn’t just about farming – it improves accountability and working conditions for miners, too! Because our cables contain gold, we’re working with Fairtrade to support gold miners in Peru.
All electronics use tin solder to join components. Tin is considered a conflict resource, because it’s often mined in conflict zones and sold to perpetuate fighting. We’re sourcing conflict-free solder from a cooperative of Stannol and Fairlötet to guarantee that we (and you!) aren’t funding wars.
Recycled Copper & Aluminium
A large proportion of cables is made from copper and aluminium. The mining for these metals is an extremely polluting and CO2 intensive process. This is why we’re sourcing as much recycled metals as we can to minimise our overall impact on the environment.
To make the electronics industry more sustainable, we’re striving to repair environmental damage already done by the electronics industry. This is why we’re donating 5% of our profits to the PUR Project.
Together with PUR we’re investing in a reforestation and agroforestry project in the Peruvian Amazon. This helps to heal an ecosystem that is being devastated by gold mining and supports local farmers with an income.
No country is safe from unfair working practices. Some countries are better and have stronger protection than others, but it is a global problem.
We however don’t want to shy away from countries with bad records just to shield ourselves from the problems. Only by working within the system can we highlight issues to fix. It’s going to be a long journey, but we’re committed to improve the rights for all the workers that play a part in making our cable.
Call to action
When looking at our mission to produce fair and sustainable electronics, we’ve still got a long journey ahead of us, but we’re making a solid first step and already pushing what’s possible in electronic manufacturing.
We need your help to show the consumers and industry how products can, and should, be made. Share our story with your friends and family, get them to subscribe to our newsletter (http://eepurl.com/heDzwX) and follow us on social media.