Meet Winnie McHenry – Upcycling for Employment!

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. 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!

  • What are you most passionate about?

Saving the planet by creating employment from waste!

  • What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Having kids!! Scary stuff trying to make sure they turn out to be happy healthy individuals with a personality!!

  • What makes you angry?

Very little. Almost everything has a reason so I don’t get involved in the drama, I just try to figure out how I can come up with a solution.

  • If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?

Create an Upcycle training centre

  • Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? 

Gatherer!! I’m vegan and have a much more passive approach to getting this done.

  • How many pairs of shoes  do you own?

LOOOOTS! But none are bought! Haha, everything I have has been given to me or Upcycle! I avoid shopping malls and consumerism

  • If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

You would get the most awesome vegan dinner you have EVER had … but I don’t go anywhere near the kitchen! Lucky for me I live with my very own personal Jamie Oliver!! Mark loves cooking!

  • How would people communicate in a perfect world?

Telepathy. Else it would not be a perfect world

  • What do you work toward in your free time?

Creating fun stuff from waste! Can’t help myself. I’m addicted!

  • Name 3 thing in nature you find most beautiful.

The sea!! I love water. Standing under a tree looking up at the leaves and Fungus, it’s the most unobtrusive, beautiful work of nature that puts 110 percent into growing into its full potential even though its usually found in the darkest most unlooked at places in the world but yet it still gives its best! We could all learn a little from its willingness to do its part in the greater scheme of things.

  • Have you used plastic bags for your shopping in the last two weeks?

ME? Haha no

  • What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment?

Clean your waste,  separate it, place it in separate bags in your bin or next to your bin …. The street collectors need it and will not make a mess of your bin if you help them! Don’t buy plastic!! Walk barefoot and appreciate that the living breathing thing you exist on is supporting you! Feel it! Breathe!


To read more about UPCYCLE click here!

Share This Post