Both homelessness and waste are human constructs introduced by colonialism and capitalism. Our work seeks to improve access to clean clothing while diverting textile waste from landfill.
Clothing is a fundamental human right but, in reality, one that not all have equal access to.
Providing clean, quality clothing to those vulnerable, marginalised in our community, inspires dignity and social inclusion; enabling opportunities to secure housing and employment, improving quality of life.
Donations reduce clothing sent to landfill, our work, raising awareness for issues of both inequality and waste.
Keeping clothing out of landfill
Recognising the level of clothing donated outstrips immediate community needs, garments sold online are part of a broader initiative. More recently, second-hand clothing has become viewed as niche and expensive, and for those on lower incomes relying on second-hand clothing options, access is limited.
There is no shortage of second-hand garments. Disruption is an act of consciousness, a rebellion against the status quo. If our pricing makes second hand affordable, we're taking money and power from brands that pollute, waste our Earths' resources, and fail to value their labourers' human rights.
When we prevent clothing from entering landfills through circularity, we eliminate waste, mitigate carbon emissions, and support our community efforts.
Charli Cox is the founder of Koha Apparel. Arriving from the UK in 2016, Charli first became aware of the disparity between those who have clothing and those who did not through working in an opportunity shop. Early on, she would rescue garments deemed not suited for retail and would launder and repair these garments.
Aware that the homeless or experiencing financial hardship were not provided adequate access to clothing, in 2019, Charli became a constant fixture at St Kevin's Arcade alongside Everybody Eats, the pair feeding and clothing central Auckland's most vulnerable.
Determined to make a positive difference, she plans to help boost the public's awareness regarding homelessness, poverty, the disparity and the divide across Aotearoa. There are possibilities for unwanted garments to continue on. For those homeless or living on minimum wage, facing varied and complex circumstances, clean clothing provides a sense of dignity and security.