Upcycling in South Africa - "Where Nature Meets Waste"

Updated: May 10, 2019

My name is Colleen and I run a non-profit organization (NPO) called “Innovative Waste Design” (IWD) that is located in South Africa. We aim to educate for the reduction of waste in the form of up-cycling and we produce creative and innovative designs such as handbags. Our focus is in building the future of social entrepreneurs to be global participators in achieving sustainability by solving key environmental issues.


Vision Statement: "To ignite a global community to be able to realize themselves through opportunity, enrichment, and uplifting relationships."


I love to design products from waste and this is my way of contributing to reducing environmental impacts in South Africa. Superfluere, which means "overflowing" in Latin, is the business side where we have been having fun designing footwear from up-cycled tires. My personal philosophy is based on accessing innovation, designing quality products, and helping to reduce stress on the environment.


Mission Statement: To build long term relationships and to provide exceptional customer services by pursuing business through innovation and advanced technology.


The on-going training at IWD in in social entrepreneurship and skills development to young adults who wish to make a change in the world, a motivator for my personal designs. Our young people are the future and I want to build their strengths while helping them build the confidence to acknowledge their weaknesses. I use personality mapping as a means for them to have a 3rd-person perspective on their lives so that they can be the best version of themselves and find meaning behind an untapped ability to be the passionate social entrepreneurs we need for environmental regeneration. At the moment their goals are to learn more about sustainability, why we recycle, and how waste materials can be up-cycled.


The on-going training at IWD in social entrepreneurship and skills development to young adults who wish to make a change in the world has been a motivator for my personal designs. Our young people are the future and I want to build their strengths while helping them build the confidence to acknowledge their weaknesses. I use personality mapping as a means for them to have a 3rd-person perspective on their lives so that they can be the best version of themselves and find meaning behind an untapped ability to be the passionate social entrepreneurs we need for environmental regeneration. At the moment their goals are to learn more about sustainability, why we recycle, and how waste materials can be up-cycled.


These are some of the goals at IWD:

  • Developing innovative products with high quality designs

  • Creating and selling in local communities

  • Offering the community leadership development

  • Employing a sales force with dynamic and direct selling fundamentals

  • Regional expansion in waste innovation management

  • Great reputation

  • Customer satisfaction


Purpose: To inspire community entrepreneurs to cultivate the confidence they need to enrich their lives, nourish their families, and fuel their communities.


South Africa is a lovely place to live and is rich in culture and in new ventures from small, medium, national, and international businesses. Although it is difficult to start an up-cycling business, I have envisioned the success of Superfluere based on the talent and opportunities I see every day will always outweigh the negative.


My motto is to always be in a state of wanting to learn.


To continue to evolve.


We lift each other up and empower each other as social entrepreneurs everywhere through life changing opportunities that inspire us to realize our full potential and create our own paths.


Colleen Deetlefs is a contributor from Durban, South Africa. She is passionate about upcycling and teaching young adults about the power of sustainability. Find more from Colleen on our members page.

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