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Left in the Financial Dumps, This Designer Upcycled Her Way Out

Do you ever think about your garbage once it’s been thrown away? Lizl Naude does, because everyday waste is what eventually pulled her out of the dumps.

When a business deal went awry, Naude lost everything – her house, car, and most of her possessions. With two children to feed and no way to support them, she had to come up with a sustainable solution. She decided to start at the end — using her creative streak to give new life to items that had seemingly run their course.

“I looked to my environment and saw the possibilities,” Naude says. Realizing that people often discarded functional materials, the self-taught designer began turning trash into products she could sell through something she calls ‘hip-cycling’. “You see waste, I see a possible lamp,” Naude says. In 2016, she founded Lilly Loompa. Her company manufactures a range of homeware, from elegant table accessories to stylish glass platters – all handcrafted from scrap. “An item’s second life can be more significant than the first,” Naude says.

With the increasing demand for more sustainable products, Lilly Loompa is growing. Not only can Naude now provide for herself and family, but she has hope for a bright, fruitful future. “Just as I give these pieces a second chance, this business gave me a second chance,” she says. All of our lives are capable of being crafted into something better than it was before – it’s just up to us to recognize, shape, and renew our potential.

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