FP sending out useless shirts

I also got the useless marketing package (t-shirt, cholcate bar, postcards) which annoyed me a lot. It’s not only that it wastes resources, it also costs money - which I think they should rather invest in a fairphone 3 with a decent camera. It was a bad timing because Fairphone was bugging me about converting my loan to a share (most likely with the result that I’ll never get my money back). Since I don’t want my money wasted for marketing like this I’ll keep the loan as it is. Not really well played fairphone. I’ll donate the shirt or sell it via ebay.


I’ll send it back. How they guessed the size?

Every company that wants to be successful (be it to make a lot of money or to affect changes in the world) has to do some kind of marketing and personally I think this is much better than what most other companies do.

Fairphone wasn’t bugging you, but informing you that now was the time to optionally convert your convertible loan. That this option would be available at some point was clear from the beginning - that’s why it was called a convertible loan.


Sometimes I have the feeling that marketing is the most important factor for success. So as an investor, I believe that the T-shirts are important. I am sure that everyone who doesn’t like the Fairphone T-shirt can find someone else who will proudly wear it.


I, too, received a shirt, chocolate and cards. I don’t object. The shirt was too small for me and my wife (aged 69) will not wear it. It will go to a charity shop and hopefully advertise Fairphone to a whole new customer base!


If you receive something of value for free, you can give it away or sell it. It might cost you some time or effort, but you will help someone else that way.


For me are the goodies of fairphone not helpfully or belong the to the destination of a better world.
Fail. It feels like cheap catching for sympathy.
I thought to convertible the loan. But now: No.

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I was also irritated about the parcel. Lucky: the T-Shirt seems to be my size. But Fairphone does not know it - it seemed to be a guess. Asking me before would have been safer…
The parcel seemed to be sent by a marketing agency, because it is another city: Utrecht instead of Amsterdam.
I received a card, asking me what Fairphone should do in the next 5 years. Well the answer is quite clear. There are quite a lot of bugs still in Android 7. Most of them are not assigned to a programmer. Some of them are quite annoying, like not being able to disable a SIM-Card if using private/work SIMs. Please fix that.


My shirt doesn’t fit me, either. But I’m positive I’ll find someone who wants to wear it.

To put things into perspective: 1827 people took part in the crowdinvestment, so that’s the number of packages that were sent by Fairphone.
I’d assume the shirt was the biggest cost and the rest can be neglected.
Looking at the online store where I buy my fairtrade clothes, plain shirts sell around 12€ in B2C.
Let’s assume, 50% are retail margin and taxes.
So it cost Fairphone roughly 12,000€ (slightly more than 6 x 1827).

I don’t do advertising, so I have no idea what kind of Marketing the company would do with that amount of money otherwise. I found roughly 6,000€ for a one page color ad in one of Germany’s leading computing magazin c’t. That was 2014, i.e. 5 years ago.

So you would get 2 ads in one country (for the total of one month as c’t is issued bi-weekly). Or you can have 1827 people wear your shirt again and again and be there to talk about their enthusiasm.

Of course the investor sheet didn’t indicate how Fairphone intends to increase their marketing. But they clearly stated they were going to increase from 419,000€ in 2016 to
851,000€ in 2018 and 2,134,000€ in 2019.


Could you give a link?

Also edited my post above to directly include it.


Thanks for the link. I am already familiar with another German shop: Armed angels, but Grundstoff looks interesting too!

I just created a topic meant to be a wiki so we could exchange ideas and recommendations of fair/eco/sustainable products.

I have 3 pairs of the same Armed Angels jeans because they are on of the few with 100% cotton and fit me well. At the moment they are 50% off (~50€ 100€), but unfortunately they don’t have my size anymore.

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I think we have a solution here:


I am not really sure, if that is a solution for (all) the original poster’s concerns.

One complain was about wasting the investment someone made.
If the shirts can be used by someone else, that might make it less of a waste, as it will be used. Still it’s of no use to the one who received it and it makes another mailing necessary.

Another complain was about investing money in an unwanted way.
Well, that - in general - will happen anyways, in one way or the other, as it is highly unlikely, that all investers will agree to all investments.
On the other hand; it might be avoidable, if the investment by Fairphone is concerning the investors in Fairphone directly, as is the case here.

Finally a third complaint - as I see it -, is a feeling of betrayal of the principles Fairphone stands for.

To be honest, I can understand those complaints and I think Fairphone - should they ever read this thread - should take it to heart.
The intention for sure was a good one; I guess it was meant as a “Thank You” to the investors.
The implementation in my opinion was a bit less perfect.
In my opinion it would have been better to have asked the funders in advance if they want a shirt and what shirt they would need (size; m/f).

Giving the shirt away is a solution, but in my opinion it’s only second best, as the funder might have been disappointed by then already.
The waste being comparatively small considering the environmental impact - to me - is a non-argument, as every waste is too much waste. And if something is wasted involuntarily on me, I might despise it even more.

In all:
In my opinion the complaints by funders/investors should be taken as what they are; signs of disappointment and frustration.
They should not be belittled.
Every “solution”, that does not cut out the frustration/disappointment is no real solution, but at best a cure of the symptoms or a “workaround”.

Just my humble opinion of course.


Fairphone does read these concerns, but they cannot turn back the time. We should already be accustomed to the fact that this is still a young company that is in a learning process making mistakes. Even extremely large companies sometimes have big PR fails.


Sure. That’s quite obvious.
So much more important to learn by it( as I already posted).
And - equally important to me - I was referring to the discussion in this thread as well.
I have the feeling, that his forum is so focused on helping and finding solutions, that everyone get’s an answer like “Don’t worry, we find a solution.
While that’s not wrong as such, I sometimes miss something like “You are right and we understand you.
E.g.: If I would be complaining about a waste of money and ressources when receiving an unwanted and not fitting shirt, the answer that the waste is not that big, would make me feel dismissed. I hardly would feel this to be helpful.


Hm, I’ve not looked at it this way. Of course you are right, and I completely agree that producing and sending out unwanted t-shirts is a waste of resources (although they surely are organic and fair trade, I assume).

On the other hand it wouldn’t be fruitful if we supported each other in our self-pity all the time. So I tend to make the best of the situation and suggest possible solutions to the problem. #thinkpositive :sunflower:


Hi all,
I hope my reply can bring some more information on this, and if you have any more remarks, questions, please let me know.

The ‘Thank you’ package was sent to crowdfunders as a special gift to celebrate our 5 Years anniversary moment and the investment round.

With the intention of a nice gesture, we are now learning the full scope of sending these gifts around. Please note that this was part of a pilot we tested, so we thank you for your feedback. This is something that we will take into account in the future, for other appreciation campaigns we will create.

Encouraging communication and marketing outreach is part of Fairphone’s strategy to expand. With the aim of raising awareness, this type of action brings key learnings to be taken into account for furthering our mission.

As for the current situation, we have two recommendations:

  1. Give your items a second chance. On our Community Forum, you can use the ‘Giveaway’ section to get in touch with members and share/exchange items.
  2. If you really want to send it back to us, you can use this address (the fee won’t be covered by us):

Jollemanhof 17, 1019 GW

Again, please keep it mind that this was a test package, and all your feedback is greatly appreciated and will help us improve :raised_hands:


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