A walk along ‘Rosella Street’ is a little different than most.
It’s not actually a street, but rather an online community allowing users to buy, rent and sell in a sustainable way and ultimately reduce waste and the impact of consumerism on the planet.
Despite this lofty ambition, the ethos that guides Rosella Street and the team of two behind it – Sammy Williamson and Mick Fritschy – is simple.
For Sammy, Rosella Street – as the name suggests – is all about sharing the sense of belonging, trust and closeness you have in your street or neighbourhood, but online.
“The Rosella part stems from our shared love of the Australian landscape, and the flora and fauna that live in it,” she says.
Rosella Street started in Canberra as Hey Fritz, but spread rapidly around Australia with a presence now in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Sammy says what sets it apart from other online communities is it’s an easy way for people to do the right thing by the planet.
“By sharing, buying secondhand and not needing to buy things new, you are singlehandedly reducing items that end up in landfill, and reducing the negative impact of consumerism,” she says.
Sammy and Mick are both passionate about community and the environment. The pair met at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic through the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) where they also teamed up with their third co-founder, Dilyar.
Mick grew up in Nhulunbuy, in northeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, and says growing up there gave him “a real appreciation for both nature and community” which he’s carried with him for life.
Likewise, Sammy is passionate about the environment, particularly the oceans. She’s worked in conservation on remote islands where she saw the devastating effects of climate change firsthand.
“The way we are heading now, our future kids and grandkids won’t see certain species, won’t have amazing national parks to visit, and will live through extreme weather events as the norm,” she says.
$1 from every sale on Rosella Street is donated to community and environmental initiatives. Most recently, they’ve partnered with a tree-planting initiative run by the Yolngu people of northeast Arnhem Land.
Unlike platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, scams and issues are avoided because the ID of everyone who transacts on the platform is verified before they can begin buying or selling.
“Other platforms don’t provide such safe ways of transacting,” says Sammy. “Sometimes people can create ‘burner’ accounts to scam people and delete the account without any consequence or way of tracking them down.”
Fortunately, there are none of these issues on Rosella Street because as well as the ID verification, there’s also a safe and secure inbuilt payment system.
Mick says the more he and Sammy talk to people about the problems they experience through online selling, buying and renting, “the more we hear stories about people being scammed or even physically assaulted through marketplace crime”.
“Rosella Street is the Aussie alternative, with a commitment to keeping users safe,” he says.
For more information, visit Rosella Street.