Veganism has spread and become more popular as the years pass. More people each day are deciding to stop eating animal products due to the cruelty inherent in the industries they are made in. However, this doesn’t limit itself to food. A lot of vegans decide to use alternatives to other products made from animals, one of the most common examples being leather. Asif Ali Gohar explains vegan leather in a more elaborate way.

Introduction to Asif Ali Gohar’s life


Asif Ali was born in 1992 in Karachi, Pakistan where he lived until the age of 12. Around this age, his family moved to Germany. Asif Ali Gohar describes this switch in the environment as a complete culture shock. However, the switch to such a different environment did have a positive effect on him as well. As Asif Ali Gohar states, the change of residence may have partially affected his sensitivity towards other beings and an eventual switch to veganism.

Asif Ali Gohar has been a vegan for over 15 years now, indulging in this lifestyle at the age of 15 and being around 30 years old. Little has changed about his outlook. He is still adamant about his dislike of animals being killed for food. From there on, his interest in vegan alternatives grew.

What truly spiked Asif Ali Gohar’s interest was a project in high school. This project would motivate him to experiment with leather alternatives in college, reaching some fascinating finds and potential solutions for the creation of alternate leather made from rice.

How to make leather from rice?

While studying business administration at the University of Hamburg, Asif Ali Gohar got involved in a project that dealt with the alternative of leather. This project would eventually lead to the first example of rice-based alternate leather.

There were various extremities being conducted with the rice as the focus of creating alternate leather. The focus on rice stems from innate connections Asif Ali Gohar has to the plant just as much as its universal presence and price.

While these benefits of rice were greatly fruitful for supporting the experiments further, the difficulty of obtaining a proper working mix for the alternate leather.

There were many failed experiments, but that didn’t dissuade Asif Ali Gohar from working on this project. After a while, a proper mixture was found.

The goal of the experiments was to convert rice into leather slime, which can then be shaped as needed. In these experiments, rice would be the main agent, and the mixture added would have to simply give it the required properties to enable the creation of leather. The items that ended up providing the desired effect were yeast and acetic acid bacteria.

Why rice?


Other than the basic affordability of rice, there were a few motivators for Asif Ali Gohar to use rice. Most of them tie in with his birth country of Pakistan.

Pakistan is the 4th biggest rice exporter in the world. The country is responsible for over 8% of the world’s total rice trade. While the percentage may not seem too impressive from the sheer numbers perspective, however, you have to take into account that it’s split between 195 countries.

Leather is another connecting factor. Pakistan makes a lot of money from exporting leather. The value of exported leather is around $ 874 million. That includes an annual production of around 18.6 million hides and skins annually. These numbers can vary from year to year, but they are always exceptionally high. This means a ton of animals are being killed for the sake of making this leather.

The production of leather is highly profitable for the country, amounting to 5.6% of the country’s GDP. Because of this high level of produced leather, as well as the excellent quality associated with Pakistani leather, Asif Ali Gohar aims to combine leather and rice in one product. Currently, he is looking for investors for this leather substitute made out of rice. We’ve talked about the creation of leather. Now let’s see Asif Ali Gohar’s explanation of vegan leather.

Vegan leather

Vegan leather represents any form of alternative to leather that doesn’t use animals as a source of leather. It can often be extended to mean not using products that may harm the habitat of animals, but this is a stance that isn’t as firmly established.

Regular leather production is often deemed cruel by even non-vegans, so it makes sense that alternate leather would be desired. In terms of these alternate leather, there are already some examples. For example, Pinatex is made from pineapple leaf fibers, coconut can also be used as a source of alternate leather, cork is a frequent alternative a lot of people use, and many more examples exist where leather is made from items fully unrelated to animals.

Asif Ali Gohar’s approach of using rice is supposed to make the production of alternate leather even easier as rice is universally present. Even if some country doesn’t produce much rice, it’s still not too expensive to import it for the sake of leather being made. However, Asif Ali Gohar’s idea works best for countries high in rice production, hence why Pakistan presents such a great source of potential engagement. The country has already seen a rise in veganism, and supporting it through national exports is the logical next step.



The importance of alternate leather should not be overlooked. Even those who do not follow veganism will find it absolutely cruel how a lot of the livestock is treated, especially when creating fabrics is concerned.

While there are already some alternatives present for the standard leather Asif Ali Gohar aims to bring in a new and affordable version with rice-based leather. Due to the affordability of rice, the development of this leather and its creation should be far cheaper while also ensuring a fully vegan creation process.

Whether you are a vegan, an interested reader, or somebody who accidentally stumbled upon this subject, we hope you’ve learned something new today. The world of alternate leather is quite large and new alternatives being introduced always expand the possibilities of industries that use vegan principles.