Compassionate. Courageous. Magnanimous
Charli Cox dedicates her spare time to rescuing garments from landfill and passing them on to vulnerable communities at pop-up shops using a pay-what-you-can model.
She does this through the non-profit Koha Apparel, which she set up in January 2019.
Charli’s inspiration came from volunteering at an op shop, where she realised the inadequate access people had to a basic human right – clothing and the amount of donated garments that were heading to landfill.
She began rescuing items that were heading to landfill, washed and repaired them.
She then partnered with Everybody Eats in St Kevin's Arcade, where she set up a few racks of beautifully presented clothing.
And that’s how Koha Apparel was born. People pay what they can, and those who are unable to make a donation clothing is provided at no cost. For the better of our people, and the planet.
With the help of a dedicated band of volunteers, the non-profit has grown to 13 pop-up shops a month throughout Auckland.
Charli is beyond proud her mission and directly sees the impact the clothing has on people's lives and how it can change someone's mood and day for the better with this the community feeling more confident.
She is humbled to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero. “I am incredibly proud of Koha and the difference we continue to make collectively to our community with a basic human right – clothing. Our regulars have become my friends and family here in New Zealand,” she says.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Koha Apparel will use its funds to expand its reach through an e-commerce website and increase the number of pop-ups throughout New Zealand.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here