One high school project has changed the life of Asif Ali Gohar. When tasked with a large project for school, he decided that there must be a way to create a material from easily renewable resources. After having given up meat and animal products years ago, he had begun to apply those theories and beliefs into the rest of his life. The search for a strong yet adaptable material that was made from vegan friendly materials was unsuccessful, leading to a new idea that determined the path of his future.
When faced with a project about sustainable materials and eco friendly choices, he set out to learn more about how the items we use every day are made. Already living a vegan lifestyle, he knew that he wanted to find something that was both sustainable and not based on animals or animal products. As this limits the types of material that can be made, he felt there should be more focus on finding these alternatives.
Often looking for new ideas and alternative choices involves thinking outside of the box and addressing limitations. Knowing that rice was one of the top exports, and that it can be grown in large amounts year after year, he began to look at it in a different way. Determining how it can be broken down and what happens at different stages, allowed him to see the product in a new and different way.
Years later, the information gathered during that project have not only helped him to get through school and finish his full education, but has created a new way to make a leather like material. By using a system to break down the rice into a softer and pliable consistency and this can be combined with yeast and other plant sourced materials to create a cloth like material. The beginning stages still require a lot of improvement and there ais ongoing attention paid to ways to improve the product, the material as it is, begins to look a lot like leather. It can be held together with other products, and when it is dry it holds the shape that it has been cut into.
Using rice to make a leather product will change how a lot of things are made, but the process is also creating a lot of research and feedback to people about ways new materials can be created. Not only is the resulting material itself changing lives and opening up opportunities, but the process and the machines that are used to do so are revolutionary to the industry.
This one high school project has crossed over the years and changed many lives, bringing ingenuity and resourcefulness to the front of the industry. Using something that is so easily renewable as rice, yeast, and other plant sources can keep this material affordable as well as launching a new fabric into the world.