These sustainable tech brands should be on your radar

Samsung repurposing ocean plastics graphic
(Image credit: Samsung)
Gadget Weekly

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Join Namerah Saud Fatmi as she explores the cool, quirky, and sometimes downright odd world of smartphone accessories, gadgets, and other nerdy toys every week.

Earth Day is just one day out of 365 each year, but it's an excellent reminder to adopt permanent changes in our lives that benefit the planet. The tech world is anything but eco-friendly by nature, but many companies have been trying to offset the negative ecological impact of their operations and existence.

Sustainability in the tech industry has many faces, but it's important that we're not just sold marketing gibberish to convince us that a company is going green. There must be actual change and betterment, not just a bunch of PR fluff and mini-projects that do nothing for the environment or anyone else.

For instance, it doesn't help the world much if your phone brand of choice uses paper packaging and doesn't give chargers, but it's still sourcing finite sources and materials from non-environmentally friendly or unethical sources.

A great way to be a sustainable tech user is by buying refurbished phones and recycling your used devices. You can also donate your older gadgets and accessories to others. If you absolutely must have a new phone though, try to prioritize buying from brands that make a difference. And while you're at it, learn how to shop sustainably as well.

It's very hard to rank or list out all the most sustainable and eco-friendly and recycling your used devices. Fortunately, there are some companies that are very clear and open in the way they are adopting greener practices and decisions. To make things easier for our conscious readers, here are some of the most notable sustainable tech accessories brands that should be on your radar.


Fairphone 4 with its back panel removed

(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

Fairphone is the most sustainable smartphone brand in the world. Not only does the Dutch phone manufacturer use recycled and eco-friendly materials in the making of its devices, but it also sources ethically and designs its phones to be both self-repairable and upgradeable.

This means that a Fairphone device, such as the Fairphone 4, can easily be fixed if broken and bumped up to updated new specs without the need to ditch the entire device if it gets damaged. The prices are reasonable, too, and you get plenty of accessories with the brand's phones.

But most impressive is the fact that Fairphone supports its smartphones for a long time, like the Fairphone 2, which received software support for roughly seven years. This was during a time when phone manufacturers like Samsung and Google had only supported phones for up to five years. 


Teracube 2e held in one hand with its rear open

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Teracube takes a leaf out of Fairphone's book and uses recycled materials as well as discarded e-waste in the production of its devices. On top of that, Teracube promises a four-year guarantee for all of its products. This includes water damage, a cracked display, aging batteries, and more. Before Fairphone arrived in the US, Teracube was the most sustainable and easily repairable phone in the region and is still a good option for anyone looking for an affordable phone. 


Google Pixel 6 Pro repair

(Image credit: iFitix via Google)

Repairability is crucial to sustainability because it encourages users to fix their own devices when they break instead of discarding them and buying new products. Android Central's Jerry Hildenbrand points out how companies often ignore repairability when it's something they should highlight when talking about sustainability. The right-to-repair movement advocates for easier repairability as well as more easily accessible tools and instructions to achieve this.

iFixit provides a key service in this category, selling comprehensive toolkits and providing how-tos and guides to help the average consumer repair their own gadgets. Holding on to your current electronics as long as you can prevents more e-waste from ending up in landfills or being shipped off to third-world countries, where it eventually ends up polluting the earth anyway.

iFixit has even teamed up with Google to provide official parts for devices like the Pixel 8 and more.


Samsung Galaxy S23 sustainability

(Image credit: Samsung)

Believe it or not, Samsung has made strides when it comes to the company's sustainable efforts. It started out with the Korean tech giant reducing and offsetting its carbon footprint. Eventually, the company got more creative and we saw less plastic and more paper packaging, shipping boxes that come with instructions to convert them into things like cat trees, and the disappearance of the power brick inside phone boxes.

With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, Samsung unveiled its 'Galaxy for the Planet' initiative. The S23 lineup was Samsung's most sustainable lineup to date at the time, built with 22% recycled glass for the screen, 100% recycled paper packaging, 80% recycled PET, and 20% recycled plastic. The S24 family is even more eco-friendly than its predecessor, using materials such as recycled cobalt.

On top of all that, you still have Samsung's commitment to minimize its carbon footprint across the board, from manufacturing and production to distribution and sales. At Galaxy Unpacked 2023, Samsung went as far as pledging to achieve net zero carbon emissions in all consumer product operations by the end of 2030.


CASETiFY Google Pixel 6 cases on a table

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

Once you go down the eco-friendly line, you'll discover that there are plenty of sustainable tech brands in the accessories sector as well. CASETiFY is an exemplary example. Not only does the famous case maker reuse its own used cases and accessories to create new ones, but it also enables its own users to voluntarily send in their used products for free. This is part of the Re/CASETiFY program, under which the brand aims to eliminate the need to source any new plastic by 2030.

CASETiFY also employs eco-friendly and sustainable tactics in its operations and donates $1 out of every sale made on Earth Day to plant a tree. To date, CASETiFY has planted over 463,406 trees and prevented more than 84,000 kilos of plastic from being dumped in the ocean or landfills. If you own a case or accessory from the brand, note the inscription on the side that indicates the percentage of recycled materials used to make the product. For phone cases, it's usually around 65%, which is an impressive number.


Pela case

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

Pela might not be as popular as some of the other names on this list, but don't let that hold you back. The brand makes completely biodegradable and compostable phone cases for popular brands like Apple, Samsung, and Google. Every single product made by Pela can be buried in your backyard and become one with the soil eventually, including the grips and wallet add-ons. Oh and if you don't know how to repurpose or compost your phone case, we have a handy guide for that.

Going green isn't as hard as it used to be when it comes to tech

Whether you want a sustainable and repairable phone fit for a purist or a more traditional device that's good for the flowers, it's a lot easier to find good picks nowadays.

Fairphone and Teracube are fantastic brands that embrace the green initiative through and through. But it's even nicer to see big brands like Samsung start to take things seriously. Hopefully, future Galaxy phones and other electronics will have an even higher percentage of recycled materials.

Apart from CASETiFY and Pela, there are plenty more environmentally-friendly phone accessories to consider. These two are the most reputable of the bunch and I have tested their products, which is why I highly recommend them.

Namerah Saud Fatmi
Editor — Accessories, speakers, and tablets

Namerah enjoys geeking out over accessories, gadgets, and all sorts of smart tech. She spends her time guzzling coffee, writing, casual gaming, and cuddling with her furry best friends. Find her on Twitter @NamerahS.