Who we are

Koha Apparel was founded in 2019, and it was the result of observing the streets while I walked from home to mahi, witnessing those who were homeless and those experiencing living-in poverty. I knew of Everybody Eats and wanted to provide the same service but with clothing, so I reached out to Nick Loosley (the founder), and two months later, Koha Apparel became a constant fixture at St Kevin's Arcade alongside Everybody Eats, feeding and clothing central Tāmaki’s most vulnerable. 

I believe that just because someone has nothing does not mean they should accept anything. Koha Apparel was founded to give people the right to choose from quality, premium clothing without barriers. For me, the last five years have been of considerable momentum, built on those earlier foundations. Last year, we met our objective of increasing our community presence by operating twenty-one pop-ups and creating cooperative partnerships with not-for-profit organisations to clothe those beyond our networks.

In the last couple of years, working with my friend Trace, we have prioritised our environmental responsibility beyond our social impact, championing circularity and transparency. Our impact reporting was a big part of this. Trace works in circularity and sustainability, and it made so much sense we could combine our passions and progress Common (previously Koha Apparel) in new ways. We also introduced quarterly carbon impact reporting as members of the UsedFULLY Textile Reuse Programme. Our role within the charity services space was also a service to Mother Earth. 

There is more than enough to go around in the world, and my mission from the outset was to recirculate it from those who have excess. Once you see the need, it is hard to ignore it. I have been fortunate enough to witness the impact clothing has had on many people's lives—confidence, dignity and, more than that, hope. How we dress becomes a part of our identity. It is how we present to the world. The power of clothing should never be underestimated, and I believe everyone should have the right to clothing, to not be disadvantaged in situations where how we look impacts how others react and interact with us and the opportunities or how appearance can make people invisible in society. Every person is worthy.

— Charli Cox, Founder

  • Charli Cox

    Charli’s current and previous roles provide unique perspectives on outsourced and insourced community services and sustainability. Currently working at Lifewise within the Youth Housing Team, Charli brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and social system change. Her role invovlves establishing relationships with organisations, forging new ways of working towards better outcomes for those aged 16 to 24. Previously, Charli worked for icebreaker for six years in quality and compliance roles and three within the production team, contributing to her commercial understanding and the broader context of sustainability and the challenges faced by fashion brands. Her very hands-on approach is guided by a passion to demonstrate how care and purpose can create opportunities towards enhancing human, societal and environmental progress.

  • Tracey Creed

    Tracey is the marketing and communications manager at Ecoware, a compostable packaging company. With an intent focus on environmental responsibility and sustainability, her experience includes nine years working with various brands, building knowledge around materials and circularity with a deep interest in reframing value and addressing the issues of overconsumption and waste. A writer and photographer, she combines creative and communication ability with research in scanning the market and legislative environments to create unique brand positioning opportunities for her clients. Her varied responsibilities include brand communications, climate and impact reporting. Utilising her skillset and interests, she is also the co-founder of online publication Lagom which explores issues at the interconnectivity of health, climate and waste.