Sustainable Providers Australia – Story #6 – Hey Fritz
by Ewa Bekiesch – Permaculture Designer and Sustainable Living Consultant
“In this series, I am interviewing sustainable businesses in our region and hope to encourage the Fraser Coast residents to support our local sustainable providers. Interested in participating? Info and how to contact me at www.earthbooth.com.au”- Ewa Bekiesch
Basic outline of your business that includes the Who, What, Where and since When of your business story – Hey Fritz is building a tribe of people who are banding together to make better use of what they have to help reduce waste. Hey Fritz does this through providing a platform on which people can rent things they own to others in the Community – including items, spaces and services. If we work together, we don´t all need to own the same things. And if we don´t all own the same things, less is going to end up in landfill.
The platform is a fun, safe and convenient way to get access to what you need, when you need it.
Hey Fritz first started in early 2019 as a small Canberra based community run off excel spreadsheets used to match people with what they were looking for. Hey Fritz was expanded in November 2020 to include three additional co-founders equally passionate about community and the environment, and who brought the skills needed to build the wizz bang platform you see today at www.heyfritz.com.
Tell us what you stand for as a business and why are you considering yourself being a sustainable business provider – We have built a platform that allows people to connect with their community and make better use of the items, spaces and services within those communities. This way as consumers we redefine ownership, strengthen communityship, and reduce unnecessary waste.
What was the initial idea to create your business? Tell a quick relatable story about why you started your business – Admiring the Andes Mountains in Chile while jogging, Mick Fritschy’s foot slipped down a pothole, breaking his ankle. Later recovering on a couch, his mind turned to renting caravans, sowing the seed of a greater adventure that would ultimately make the world a better place. That adventure began later at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.
“More recently I was studying climate change policy at the ANU with Professor Frank Jotzo, which got me really inspired about more of the environmental angle,” Mick says. “I was thinking of the initial caravan idea and thought there was an opportunity to make better use of what we have, more broadly.”
Mick was later joined by Sammy Williamson, Michael Redman and Dilyar Barat who shared his passion for creating a platform on which people could band together to make better use of what we have.
Sammy points out hiring rather than buying helps reduce consumption of resources and combats climate change. “I’m in the generation that being environmentally conscious, being aware of your footprint is really important,” she says. “People want to make conscious decisions to do better in the world but don’t necessarily know where to start or how to do it.”
What you specialize in and the work you love doing – Hey Fritz specialises in peer to peer item hire. We love helping people connect together and help each other out by sharing items, spaces and services that would otherwise have been sitting idle.
What challenges are you facing while running your business – The biggest challenge we came across in our initial launch was creating a platform with high enough trust for people to feel comfortable in renting out their items, spaces and services. We have solved this by integrating identify verification for all platform users, implementing a secure payments system, borrower and lender ratings, and an item hire Guarantee against damage, loss and theft of items.
How do the customers benefit from using your services/products – Hey Fritz gives people access to what they need it a smarter, more convenient, more environmentally friendly way.
What is the future of your business? What do you hope to achieve within your business? Give us a glimpse into your future goals – People renting rather buying seldom used items helps reduce waste to landfill. Since launch of the platform in late January Hey Fritz users have already avoided 120kg of waste to landfill. The goal for the next 12 months is to reduce 13.5 tonnes of waste to landfill.
Additional notes – Hey Fritz has also implemented a Reverse Marketplace in which people can call out for items, spaces and services they are looking to rent, but which aren´t yet listed in their area.
Contact details – Mick Fritschy 0434 689 896 – Canberra ACT, website – www.heyfritz.com – Always open; Instagram – heyfritzit ; Facebook – heyfritzit