You know that faint crackling sound of your brand new phone hitting the pavement after you accidentally dropped it? You hear the crack, you pick up the phone, you turn it around. A quick look, and there. The screen is busted. Chances are you’ve experienced something more or less like this. In fact, every single second two smartphone screens crack in the US alone, mostly as a result of drops.
And some 40% of phones that break like this don’t get repaired at all, ending up as toxic electronic waste that’s difficult, if not impossible, to fully recycle.
Phones are pretty great. They help us keep in touch with loved ones, they are our own personal portals to the world. But they are terribly resource-intensive to make, and they’re expensive to buy. And still, we fail to take care of them.
At A Good Company, our mission is to make sensible and sustainable everyday products. And what could be more everyday than a smartphone case? One that protects your phone, is beautiful to look at, and one that, unlike most phone cases out there, is made in the most sustainable way conceivable.
Some 150 kilometres south of Stockholm where A Good Company is based, Arvid runs an ecologically certified farm where he grows linseed. In case you didn’t know, linseed (or flax as it’s also known as), it’s a food and fiber crop cultivated in the cooler regions of the world.
And it’s remarkably versatile.
The seeds have high levels of fiber and omega-3 and are a popular ingredient in müsli. They can also be pressed to make linseed oil, which works great as a wood impregnator. The thing with the plant, however, is that the seeds are tiny while the plant is big. Arvid cultivates the seeds as a food crop, and ends up with a lot of plant residue.
For our phone case, we were certain that we wanted to avoid harmful plastics. So we were looking for an organic replacement. And the linseed plant is pretty perfect in that regard. It’s rich in resin, which acts like a starch that can hold it together. And if you process it correctly you end up with a material that would suit us perfectly.
So with Arvid’s stockpile of linseed plant residue, we had a match made in heaven.
Now, it takes more than a suitable and biological raw-material to make a good phone case. At A Good Company, we spend considerable time sourcing suppliers. And a short 10 kilometers from Arvid’s linseed farm we found a small family-owned factory able to prepare our biological material.
The factory is run by two gentlemen, one Swede and one Canadian, and specializes in making granulates. They receive Arvid’s plan residue just after harvest, and produce pellets from linseed, that we bag and ship to their final destination, where we mould phone cases.
You see, just a short distance away, we found another family-owned manufacturing plant that agreed to take on our challenge. Needless to say, we really like this factory. It runs on solar power in summers and switches to hydro electricity in winters, and has created a closed system for wastewater. Even if they’re specialized in plastic moulding, with our help and a specialized tooling machine that we designed for them, they were able to press our organic pellets into eight different iPhone cases.
Given that a biological compound has vastly different properties than plastics (like how it reacts to heat), it took many attempts before we got it right. But we’re really proud of the result.
But our story doesn’t end there.
The phone cases also get beautiful prints, by a nearby print shop that uses only organic paints. So there you are. With the help of four wonderful partners, just a short distance from where we live, we created one of the loveliest mobile phone cases, made entirely from a biologic and biodegradable material.
We could have just left it there. We managed to make phone cases with none of the traditional petroleum-based plastics that ruin our environment. Why take it further?
Because we want to go the extra mile. You see, we don’t want our phone cases to end up in the trash, alongside all the other stuff that we throw. And our phone cases are quite easy to recycle.
They’re completely plant-based, and with a tiny bit of processing, you’re able to turn them into pellets again, and feed these pellets into the moulding machine again. And make new phone cases.
So that’s why we’re creating A Good Loop. A Good Loop is a circular loop system that lets you swap your mobile case for a new one—at any time and for any reason.
Maybe you like a new design, maybe you got yourself a new phone? Just go ahead and trigger your swap. We’ll make sure to recycle your mobile case and make you a new one, with a discount of €10.
The Mobile Case Factory is as you now understand four local companies working together. It is in fact a true team effort. All companies are getting paid decent wages, have five weeks paid vacation each year and legislated pensions.