Asif Ali Gohar and His Unconventional Idea

August 17 22:09 2022

Vegan products are becoming increasingly popular with each passing day, as more and more people are shifting to veganism. While some vegan products are just simple alternatives to animal based products, others require hardcore innovation. Nevertheless, the demand for vegan products is growing exponentially. The core idea behind veganism is to abstain from any animal based product which includes both food and non-food items. It seems very simple at first, but we cannot imagine the amount of animal based products that we consume in our daily lives. Products such as soaps, leather, wool and other sorts of fiber are a massive part of our consumption and cannot be easily replaced. However, Asif Ali Gohar has come up with an unconventional and ingenious idea that can help millions of people that want to enjoy a premium material like leather without it being a burden on the environment and animals.

Asif Ali Gohar is an entrepreneur and an innovator who has been working on deriving vegan alternatives to leather for a long time now. He is based in Germany but is originally from Pakistan. Asif became a vegan at the young age of 15 years and was curious about finding vegan alternatives to products that were hard to replace, such as leather. A high school project worked as fuel for thought and Asif was able to come up with an innovative solution of producing leather using rice.

Asif started working on the process while he was still in his high school but it was only during his degree of Business Administration at the University of Hamburg that he was able to conduct some thorough experiments that allowed him to deduce a method that converted rice into leather. The process involves converting rice into a slime-like polymer with the help of acetic acid and yeast. When this mixture is flattened out and left for drying, it resembles the properties of animal leather. Although there are vegan alternatives to leather such as PVC and synthetic leather, they don’t come close to the high quality finish that animal leather has. Whereas the rice based leather made by Asif Ali Gohar’s process is similar to, if not exactly the same as animal leather.

Upon inquiring, Asif made it evident that there were two major motivations for choosing rice as the main ingredient. First and foremost, rice is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly raw material when compared to other chemically engineered materials such as PVC or polyurethane. Moreover, Asif wanted to set up his operation in his home country, Pakistan. The country is a major rice producer in the Asian region and a notable member of the global rice trade. Therefore, acquiring raw material, rice, would not be an issue in Pakistan. Being a patriot and a keen businessman, Asif realized that even after harvesting high amounts of rice, Pakistan is not able to really benefit from the rice trade. Hence, Asif envisions producing a knowledge intensive good from rice that would allow the country to increase its exports. Asif Ali Gohar is looking forward to collaborating with rice producers and investors in Pakistan that can help him to initiate vegan leather production in the country. He believes that Pakistan can become one the largest producers of alternative leather products and dominate the vegan leather industry globally.

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