All of us have our passions and experiences that shape us into who we are. These experiences drive us to find our purpose in life and pursue what we are meant to. Many people are utilizing their purpose to change the world and leave it better for future generations.
Asif Ali Gohar is one of those people who is using his passion for animals and veganism to change the leather industry. We did an in-depth interview with him so you can learn more about his journey and his latest venture.
1. Where Were You Born?
I was born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1992.
2. Did You Spend Your Childhood In Pakistan?
I spent the first eleven years of my life in Pakistan. It is the country where my parents raised me. However, my family and I left for Hamburg, Germany, when I was twelve years old.
3. At What Age Did You Become A Vegan?
My first three years in Germany were a transformative experience for me. These years changed my perspective on many things, which is when I became a vegan at the age of 15.
4. What Made You Begin Your Vegan Journey At Such A Young Age?
I love animals, and it hurt me to see them suffer and get tortured just so we can consume them. The idea of killing animals did not sit right with me, and that is when I decided to stop eating meat. It was one of the best decisions I made that has helped me my entire life.
5. When Did You Become Interested In Vegan Alternatives To Leather?
When I was in high school in Germany, we received a project on veganism. That project was my first encounter with vegan alternatives to leather, and soon I became passionate about it. After that, my college experience helped me explore it formally.
6. How Did You Begin Your Research And Testing For Vegan Alternatives To Leather?
I enrolled in the University of Hamburg, where I was doing business administration as my major. That is when I was doing tests at home with rice as a leather substitute. After a lot of tests, I finally found a way to convert rice into a leather slime. While I use rice as the main agent, I also combine acetic acid bacteria and yeast to solidify the rice leather.
7. What Made You Choose Rice As A Vegan Alternative To Leather?
I chose rice to honor my heritage and roots. Pakistan is the tenth biggest rice exporter in the world. It contributes to 8% of the total rice trade in the world. I want to use the knowledge of rice from my heritage to offer a viable and sustainable vegan leather substitute.
8. What Are Your Future Plans?
My venture is in its early stages. I am looking for investors and contacts in Pakistan to help my project take off. I need to get in touch with rice producers and manufacturing facilities that can help me further.
We wish Asif the best of luck and hope he gets to make his dreams come true. After all, his vision can make the world a better place in no time.