Nager-IT announces availability of partially fair mouse

The German project Nager-IT have been working on building a fair mouse. Recently, they have announced the availability of their first model. To my knowledge, this is the first piece of partially fair, consumer-oriented hardware that you can readily buy.

The price tag is modest as well: Just 26,90 € plus shipping for the basic model. A page for placing orders is up in German; some pictures of the product can also be viewed. Note that there is no information on shipping costs to countries except Germany.

The mouse comes in a variety of combinations of body parts in the colours green, white, and transparent, or an individual option for an extra 2 €. Making the scroll wheel a third, clickable button is an extra 4 €. Obviously, we’re dealing with a very basic, no-nonsense mouse.

The main strategy for achieving fairness appears to have been choosing trustworthy suppliers with decent working conditions for as many parts as possible. Obviously, this is easier for the stages of the supply chain closer to the end product: For instance, the assembly of the mouse is performed in Germany, in a workshop that provides employment to the disabled and mentally ill. On the second stage of the supply chain, companies from China or the Philippines with unknown working conditions appear as well.

One aspect that is hardly touched by this strategy is raw materials. A few electronic components are certified conflict-free, but that hardly suffices to call them fair. This is hardly surprising, as there is currently hardly any way to tell the history of those raw materials, however I mention it because this is a focal point of the FairPhone initiative which I wrote about before.

On the whole, two thirds of the mouse are considered to be fair by its makers. They intend to improve upon this in the future; good sales of their current product might help them win the interest of potential suppliers.

The release announcement has also generated a good bit of resonance in some likely parts of the German internet. We’ll be back soon with a short product review and keep following NagerIT.

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