Our mission is to divert the amount of clothing waste entering landfill and to repurpose quality clothing for those in need.
Clothing those in need
There are around 3000 people living homeless or below the poverty line in Auckland alone. Much like food, water, shelter, clothing is a basic need and yet one that many in our communities have unmet—access to clean, quality clothing. Clothing in addition to providing protection can give people confidence, rather than strip them of it, improving comfort and employment prospects. We aim to offer a more dignified retail experience as well as a more curated level of clothing.
Koha Apparel operates with a dual purpose, clothing those vulnerable in our community AND diverting landfill.
More than clothing, its connections and conversations that makes Koha Apparel what is is today.
Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. 1 truck per second. To landfill. Our landfills are overflowing with textile waste, a conservative estimate is that clothing and textiles make up 7% of landfills globally. Often items are perfectly fine, and we aim to rehome these pieces with new owners which reduces the amount ending up as waste.
Charli arrived in New Zealand from the UK in 2016 and at the time was volunteering in an op shop and it was here that she realised the inequalities of access and an opportunity to do something about that. Charli began rescuing the clothing from the op shop that would otherwise be destined for clothing bins—washed, repaired and sorted these garments. Clothing poverty is so overlooked, poor foot health is so overlooked and at this point in her life she felt she had to do something about it. In the words of Charli - "I am strong willed person, I say it how it is and I am determined to make a positive difference for as long as I am on this planet."