Who are we? - Professional Tree Huggers?

Upcycle was born from our need as creative individuals to generate usable and useful items from the things that surround us. This is to improve the lives of the people on this planet. The amount of junk thrown away each day provided us with tons of raw materials. It wasn't long before we found that we could manufacture pretty much anything from "junk", from large format art installations, to gift boxes etc... – The list is truly endless!

No, we don't get paid to hug trees; Upcycle is a company dedicated to changing the way we all look at waste. Our primary goal is to teach and empower individuals to generate their own income from the resources they have at hand. We take individuals from impoverished areas and teach them the skills they need to create useful and usable items from free and unutilized junk. Not only does this clean up the environment they live in, but also provides a source of income.

We are a creative team ready to help your company realize its dream of not having a negative impact on the planet. We can help you create ideas from your waste so that it does not end up in a landfill. Upcycle can make corporate gifts from your waste, we can put a training book together to teach communities to make a living from waste and we can even take your event and make it green!

Upcycle designs and creates new products from waste materials to share new and exciting ways for people to get involved in the green revolution. We have books and publications as well as step-by-step projects on our website. We share this information freely with everyone through our projects, ideas and articles that teach and inspire people all over the world. The aim is be to enable everyone an effective way to reduce their carbon footprint.


UPCYCLE was established and developed in South Africa by Winnie McHenry, a design and development consultant with a strong craft, decorating and design background. An enormous amount of passion, time and effort has been put into turning UPCYCLE’s mission and dream into a reality by making a difference to the planet one person at a time.

South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, this means that millions of South Africans have limited or no income. Upcycle’s experience has found it necessary to change ingrained attitudes and develop a new outlook among potential entrepreneurs by showing them how to grow an “entrepreneurial spirit”. With its extensive network, experience and successes, UPCYCLE continues to play a vital role in nurturing community-based responses to create employment opportunities and income generation through community development.

Company Profile

UPCYCLE – The Green Creative – creates green solutions for your waste, the reinvestment in the environment through reinventing waste and giving it a new purpose as opposed to recycling it.

UPCYCLE focuses on developing skills, transferring knowledge and training individuals to create and develop products from waste, creating sustainable job opportunities for unemployed people with the objective to develop an up-cycle set of skills implemented and supported by effective CSI projects.

UPCYCLE believes in empowering people to use their natural talents to provide them with enough income to support their families. Our up-cycling drive serves to bring this information back to our everyday lives in our step-by-step training courses. By empowering and training people to do something that can generate income & uplift their community, we are grooming skills that are invaluable to our country and our people.

Help us make a difference by getting involved.


Most companies have standardised their corporate gifts and stationery including event and function decor. There are very few new and exciting items in the market at the moment, and even fewer that are environmentally friendly. We estimate that 85% of corporate gifts and decor are imported, non-green items, made of potentially harmful materials that are not recycled or handmade.

UPCYCLE allows companies to promote themselves with green branding and marketing messages that include their green standing. This means that the marketing department can unlock the value in its own corporate gifts and functions and reduce its overall marketing costs.

UPCYCLE is promoting handmade products, made with recycled items, which when sold help to give groups and individuals an income for an opportunity in life.

UPCYCLE gifts were developed to feature the following key attributes:

• Up-cycled waste materials
• Personalised
• Cost effective
• Social Up-liftment
• Hand crafted
• Minimal impact on the environment
• Functional and decorative
• Sustainable and developmental

By purchasing green gifts for your corporate event you are making a difference to Mother Nature! Each item that is re-used rather than discarded relieves the impact on our industry and manufacturing processes as well as our carbon footprint as a collective.

Visit our shop to order your eco conscious gifts.


Statistics today indicate a high level of unemployment in South Africa, with thousands of people losing their jobs daily. The rate of inflation and poverty in South Africa is something that cannot be overlooked by individuals, corporate and government alike. Training people to use their natural given talent of crafting will empower them to make a better future for themselves. There will always be a need to educate people and to teach them new, exciting and valuable skills.

The crafting/product industry is vast and un-limited and is an exceptionally good way for unskilled, lower income or previously disadvantaged individuals to start a business with little investment. This can enable them to support their family. There is a huge demand internationally and locally for handmade crafts and the need for green products in the market absolutely justifies these individuals getting involved and learning crafts and other skills.

Almost everyone has a skill, hobby or craft that they partake in as a form of relaxation or income generation. As these skills are usually only learned from a family member, the products and the availability are limited. Our Upcycling drive serves to bring this information back to our ever day lives in our step-by-step projects. By empowering and teaching people how to do something that can generate income or uplift their community, we are growing skills that are invaluable to South Africa and our people.

If we at UPCYCLE can fill the need by teaching the crafter the skill, assisting them with the materials and marketing required to produce the quality crafts that are so eagerly sort after, we will have achieved much in the way of our vision, purpose and goals.

Donate junk

There are an unlimited number of companies that have waste that they cannot get rid of in a green-conscious way. Most company’s pay thousands of Rand’s every month to have their waste removed to a landfill or to be incinerated. We can take this waste and create up-cycled products instead.

UPCYCLE have incredibly dedicated partners whose donations provide invaluable materials that can be up-cycled and sold.

The destruction of waste to be upcycled into a completely different product is our forte. Swop, donate or exchange waste for the Upcycle creative community. Donate all your unwanted junk to us. Household, corporate or industry, we will do our best to find a use for everything!


Works of art from waste - We have created; Shopping Centre Decor, Upcycled Garments for Fashion Shows and other Green Eco-friendly Events.


Creating publications of your upcycled waste products – We develop training manuals, booklets and flyers on “How to Upcycle your waste products”. Also see Upcycle in the media for more details on whom we are as a company.

If you would like to get more involved please contact us: