Eva Gouwens

CEO, Fairphone

As other sectors including fashion and groceries have exploded with environmentally friendly and Fairtrade alternative startups, the smartphone business has stayed strangely quiet on the environmental harm and worker exploitation that contributes to the business of building and shipping phones.

Although it’s a far cry from being a household name like Apple or Samsung, Netherlands-based Fairphone is trying to make a successful business out of sustainable smartphones. To date it’s launched three versions of its smartphone, and has shipped over 180,000 units since its founding in 2013. According to CEO Eva Gouwens, the next phase of Fairphone will be growing the brand’s name recognition.

“In the next five years, we focus on further increasing our revenues by shifting to a larger, more mainstream audience and on strengthening our position in the industry, in order to maximize our positive impact throughout the whole value chain. With that we show the industry that it's possible to be commercially successful and make people and the planet a standard part of doing business,” Gouwens tells Business Insider.

Gouwens became CEO at Fairphone in 2018.