Leather is one of the most popular animal based products used all over the world. There are various kinds of leathers available in the market all made up of different types of animal skins. However, as Veganism is becoming more and more popular, animal based leather products are looked down upon as they involve animal cruelty. Leather has long been used as a raw material in human civilization but the surge in global consumption patterns have put a burden on animals as they are exploited for dairy and other animal based products, such as leather.
Veganism as a concept revolves around the idea of reducing if not eliminating the cruelty and exploitation conducted on animals for monetary benefits. Therefore, vegans (people who follow veganism) refrain from consuming animals or products derived from animals. While the philosophical aspect of veganism dates back to the late 20th century, it is only recent that vegan alternatives are emerging in the market, vegan leather made out of rice being one of them. Introduced by a young entrepreneur and innovator from Germany, vegan leather with rice is considered the future of the leather industry all over the world.
Asif Ali Gohar is a Pakistani born entrepreneur who now lives in Germany. Asif was born in Pakistan, in the city of Karachi, in 1992. When he was a teenager, his family decided to move to Germany and in 2004 they settled in the city of Hamburg. He was fifteen when he realized that killing and sacrificing animals for your own needs is a selfish deed and a disruption to the ecosystem. Asif then decided to turn vegan. During his school years, Asif worked on a project that enhanced his interest in the subject and he became more involved in finding ways to produce a vegan alternative to leather. During his studies at the University of Hamburg, he got the opportunity to conduct a series of tests that allowed him to produce vegan leather. Asif previously had conducted various home-based experiments, so he had a basic understanding of the process. This time, given the adequate number of resources, Asif was able to convert rice into vegan leather. His idea was unique, scalable and cost effective. It used rice as a main ingredient coupled with acetic acid and yeast. After a complete empirical analysis, Asif was able to note down the experiment and conclude his findings. He is now in the production phase and wants to implement what he has learned and produce vegan leather.
His methods are not only inexpensive but are also less labor intensive. Pakistan has a promising leather industry with buyers from all over the world. The country is also the ninth largest rice producer in the world. Therefore, Asif Ali Gohar strongly believes that he should set up his operations in Pakistan. For now, Asif is looking for investors and local stakeholders that can participate in the project alongside a team that would help him to navigate through and manage production. Due to increased vegan trends in the West as well as the East, vegan leather now seems to be the future of leather.