Self-taught designer and entrepreneur, Lizl Naude is the founder and owner of Lilly Loompa Upcycled Homeware, a homeware store that transforms the most ordinary waste items — from salvaged wood to empty wine bottles — into carefully crafted products. Upcycling offers an immediate reimagining of discarded objects, extending the life of materials through innovative design. Preferring the term “hipcycling” to describe her efforts, Naude hopes to meaningfully reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by illustrating the benefits of a circular economy and increasing public awareness.
Naude’s guiding motto is: “Start with what you have.” Several years before Lilly Loompa began trading in 2018, Naude and her family lost all their material possessions. “This caused immense financial suffering and setbacks,” she says. “During this desperate time, I came to understand that the way out for my family was waste.” Trash transformed was the key to Naude’s success — not only in supporting her family, but also in giving back to her community. “I love what I do,” she says of her work at Lilly Loompa. “I get to live out my creative ideas while making a difference by cleaning up my neighbourhood.”
Lilly Loompa is as much concerned with environmental sustainability as it is with social upliftment. While Naude’s current efforts focus on her immediate surroundings, she hopes to extend her reach in the coming years by establishing purpose-made “inno-centres”. These micro factories, she says, will develop materials from pulverised waste and create new products to support further research. In addition to finding novel ways of reusing refuse, the inno-centres will offer meaningful, stable employment to local artisans. Naude’s continued commitment to her work is simple: “There is value in waste.”
Preferring the term “hipcycling” to describe her efforts, Naude hopes to meaningfully reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by illustrating the benefits of a circular economy and increasing public awareness.