Koha was founded in January 2019 after volunteering in an op shop, realising the inequalities of access to quality clothing and an opportunity to rescue the clothing that would otherwise be destined for clothing bins for rags — washing, repairing and sorting these garments then passing them onto people who needed them. After partnering with Everybody Eats, Koha Apparel was officially born (and registered as a non-for-profit charity).
Koha now distributes clothing and other necessities directly to those in need alongside Everybody Eats, LIFE Soup Kitchen and a number of others around Auckland, Wellington, Whangarei and Papamoa.
Koha pop-ups are a premium and safe shopping experience for all our visitors. On average these are run twice a week or more serving approximately 440 people throughout the month and distributing over 4,000 items of clothing annually.
We truly believe the social connection aspect is a huge part of what we do — bringing people together in our community from all walks of life, to access some very basic human needs. Creating space for these interactions and conversations can potentially change someones’ day or week for the better. Everyone should feel good in what they put on in the morning for whatever day they have ahead. We’re providing a service to our community where our customers can feel welcome and safe.
As a Koha Volunteer, you'll be responsible for:
- Supporting the setup of our pop-ups as a team
- Working at our Pop-ups - managing stock, helping customers, answering questions
- Supporting and communicating with our customers as needed
- Other duties may include sorting, washing and fixing pre-loved clothes
- working at festivals and events to help raise capital
- Being another positive face of the Koha Apparel brand
Skills and experience:
- An approachable and compassionate nature
- Team player and happy to do the mahi
- Interest in helping your fellow humans
- Comfortable communicating and helping people from all walks of life
- Not mandatory, but any previous experience with clothing would be great (repairs, sorting, fittings)
- Able to commit to a minimum of 6 hours a month, for at least 6 months
By volunteering for Koha Apparel not only will you be helping Clothing those in need you'll also be helping to divert clothing ending up in landfill.
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.
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 re home these pieces with new owners which reduces the amount ending up as waste.
Learn more about Koha by visiting our website: kohaapparel.com
Make sure you're staying up to date with Koha Apparel by following us on Instagram @koha.apparel