Over the last few decades, veganism has rapidly become popular all over the world. Initially, it was only popular in the West but now even the developing countries are catching up with the concept. The idea of veganism is not only concentrated around not using animals but it is a complete lifestyle. Abstaining from animal-based products, both food and nonfood can be termed veganism. This essentially means that one cannot consume meat and dairy products. Moreover, products made from animals such as soaps and leather as well as animal-tested products go against the ideology of veganism.
In Pakistan, the trend of veganism is relatively slow. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, our diet includes meat in heavy amounts. Although the idea of veganism is spreading like a wildfire, acceptance in Pakistan is relatively low. Last but not the least, only a handful of people are producing vegan products and a market gap exists. By deeply analyzing the economic situation of the country as well as seeing that a market gap is present, Asif Ali wants to introduce vegan leather in Pakistan.
Asif Ali Gohar was born in Karachi, in 1992. At the age of 12, Asif along with his family moved to Germany. Meanwhile, vegans had started to become popular in the west. A school project caught Asif’s attention and he began to explore veganism. Soon after, he realized that animals were being exploited and it was unjust to kill animals for our own consumption. Therefore, he adopted veganism early on at the young age of only 15 years. Veganism was warmly welcomed in the west and Asif began his research to find a vegan alternative for everyday products.
After multiple home-based experiments, Asif Ali was able to devise a method that converted rice into a leather slime. Apart from rice, yeast and acetic acid were also used to treat the leather slim and convert it into solid. This resulted in a vegan substitute for leather that can perform the same as animal-based leather. Asif is now looking for a team and networks to establish proper production in Pakistan. He believes that Pakistan being a leather exporter can really benefit from producing vegan leather as there is an ever-increasing demand for vegan products.
Pakistan exports leather in the value of $ 833 million, which amounts to 5.6% of the country’s GDP. Similarly, Pakistan is also the 4th largest rice exporter in the world. It produces a total of 8% of the world’s rice trade. This means a complete supply chain for both the raw material and the finished good exists. All Asif is looking for is a few investors that understand localized trends and have relevant experience. Through his product, Asif wants to promote vegan culture in Pakistan. But more importantly, he wants to make Pakistan a better place. Asif’s product would not only catalyze vegan trends in the country but would essentially initiate domestic production of vegan products in Pakistan.