Cell phones are great, but we only know one side of the story. We know about the new models that come out every year, we know about their features, the apps, the millions of things we can get lost in our phone doing, but when it comes to manufacturing, things are generally kept under wraps. This is for obvious reasons, as consumers we might choose to consume less if we really understood the full picture.
These are the two questions we felt like we got asked the most during our campaign and it showed us just how little we understand the process of manufacturing. To bring a piece of technology to life, even one as simple as our phone, requires an enormous supply chain involving thousands if not tens of thousands of people around the world. It is quite the undertaking to say the least. There is no way a phone should ever cost $10 as people have suggested to us, that just cannot be right. It is a desire not based in reality. Alternatively, as a team of two it would be impossible for us to completely change the whole supply chain and guarantee a fair trade phone within a year, or even a few years, as nice as that sounds to us… but let’s not say impossible either.
We think we can add value to this conversation by showing the true nature of the manufacturing process at our scale. The ecosystem is much more complicated than we can realize as consumers, and there are many factors that are not obvious to us as outsiders. Why are people lining up to try to get jobs at factories that we consider a terrible working condition?
We’re going to provide an understanding of what and who is involved in bringing new models to market every year at such an incredibly competitive price points. It is unsustainable for many reasons, but especially for the environment. We believe by making this information available we might have a deeper appreciation for the technology we already have, and begin to think twice as we continue to consume more so quickly.
We also want to pose the question, shouldn’t we, the companies and consumers that are benefiting from the hard work of these employees, be responsible for improving their lives too? We can chose to not think about them often, but they are real people with stories too.
Our Kickstarter project also showed us how huge this problem of over connectedness really was. By the end of the campaign we had backers from 71 different countries. In Hong Kong airport there were signs on the floor urging pedestrians to look up from their phones while walking while on the phone had become a serious safety hazard. We had no idea how universal the problem was.
I think our over consumption of all things, but especially technology products is going to ruin us if we can’t seriously find a way to slow down soon. I’m talking about everything from the environment to our mentality… humanity really. The thing about our phones right now, is not only do they want us to get a new one ever single year, pretty much every thing you do on there is going to try to get you to buy even more things.
Light encourages consciousness. From our personal time and attention on a daily basis, to our understanding of our larger side effects on the world, both the people that work everyday to make the things we often take for granted to our beautiful planet that makes life possible. We’d love to see people want less, consume less, and enjoy more of the simple things that make life amazing because that’s what really matters.
Check out thelightphone.com to learn more.