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Rice Leather to Rice Wool? Asif Ali Gohar Discuses the Future of His Brand

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When he was in high school Asif Ali Gohar took a risk and turned a school project into a brand, a business, and a way of life. With all the changes that are occurring in the fashion industry, and in manufacturing, we asked if he plans to expand his brand and product line to include additional products. Here is how the conversation went.

Thank you for joining us today, we are excited to learn what is next for your business.

I am happy to be here and share with you what I am able too. Of course there are always a few secrets that I can’t share until they are ready for the big launch.

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There have been some rumours that you might expand your line and try new products, is there any truth to this?

There is some truth to the rumours but maybe not all of them. We are experimenting with expanding to some different materials, perhaps a suede version of our leather, or maybe a wool for winter garments, as a way to add more texture to some of the designs they are used in. This will allow people to use our materials to be a centrepiece in their work and some designers want to make a whole vegan line.

Is there a lot of progress with your Rice Wool or is it still in mostly planning stages at this time?

There has been a lot of progress in the research stage, and we have started to experiment with how to adapt the process to create the new texture and how to get the right density. Wool is a very different material from leather, but with a suede we may be able to change the process just a little to add destressing and have it feel and look like suede.
Both are in the works, but one is definitely further along than the other and more likely to debut in the next year.

How does the Rice Wool you are working on compare to the wool that we are used to, or the synthetic wool that is already on the market?

The wool that we are making should feel similar to the real thing after it has been made into garments, and it will be a bit thinner and easier to work with. It will have a rougher surface than the leather, and it will continue to gain character as it ages. It will provide warmth, style, and be a vegan alternative to those who want something as simple as a basic wool suit or a thick wool coat to keep warm in the cold months.

You also mentioned a possible suede, is that going to be something that we can expect soon?

I wouldn’t say soon, as things take years to develop and get just right. It may be ready sooner than the wool, or it may take another year.



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