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Sustainable Innovation with Bucha Leather Inc.

Sustainable Innovation with CEO of Bucha Leather Inc: Zimri Hinshaw!

We are happy to kick off Temple Campus Sustainability Month with our #EcoChampion Zimri Hinshaw! As the Founder and CEO of Bucha Leather, Zimri hosted an important and interactive conversation on his solution to the leather industry. Read on to learn all about this incredible sustainable innovation!

sustainable innovation conversation with zimri hinshaw

Zimri is a Temple College of Liberal Arts Economic major with a minor in Business from the Fox School of Business. He is the Founder and CEO of Bucha Leather Inc., which he founded after growing kombucha in his dorm room at Temple. After submitting his entrepreneurial idea to various competitions he has worked to perfect Bucha’s triple bottom line business model. Bucha creates premium animal-free leather made out of bacterial nanocellulose. Bucha Leather is Zimri’s seventh entrepreneurial journey and as the recipient of the Green Grant, we are excited to feature him as our #EcoChampion!

Within every glass of kombucha is the solution to the leather industry.

Bucha Leather is not an alternative to leather, is it replacing traditional animal leather products. The problem behind the leather industry and its alternatives lie in their unsustainable production, energy and waste. The global leather industry pollutes the earth with over four million tons of solid waste every year. Its competitors, synthetic and faux leather, use unsustainable products that take up to 500 years to decompose littering our earth in landfills. 

Bucha Leather provides the real solution to the leather industry. It is grown from strong bacterial nanocellulose and treated with all-natural waxes and dyes. It is animal-free with no plastic additives, has high strength and durability while boasting a premium leather texture. Bucha does not compromise on sustainability while meeting high-end industry and consumer standards. For their goal textile, Bucha implements five steps within their scientific and production process. This whole process takes 22 days, 15 days for growth, and 7 days for drying & treatment. Bucha has the fastest manufacturing time across the entire leather industry!

Bucha sells sheets of textiles directly to creators and designers and wholesale to manufacturers. They look for those trying to incorporate sustainable textiles into their final products.

Bucha Pillow: Animal-free with no plastic additives, high strength and durability, & a premium leather texture!

Building a sustainably-focused venture.

Zimri, along with his team, have built a sustainable production system. Goals within this production system are focused on a full cycle of sustainability, creating zero waste and low impact on the earth. After the growth period is complete and treatments are applied, the material dries and is ready for its finish touches. Bucha products come full circle. After they are applied and come to its end of use, the textiles can be composted and recycled back into earth! 

When working to achieve a long-term vision and maximum profitability, Zimri highlights the importance of making compromises and knowing how to scale back in the future. With Bucha’s commitment to full cycle sustainability, highlighted as the triple bottom line, he touches on the importance of balancing people, planet and profit. 
As Zimri builds this model, he is constantly thinking about Bucha’s sustainable innovation. Asking himself, and his team: What is our end of life for our product? How can we be biodegradable and recyclable? How do we balance that with textiles that need to be durable and have a long life?

Pursuing a sustainable venture?

Fill out the b-corporation assessment

Zimri recommends this as a great tool for incorporating sustainability and the triple bottom line into your business model. 

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute

Many competitions are happening. Great resource to receive feedback.

Blackstone LaunchPad

Consulte with mentors and collaborate with peers.

Venture Cafe

Opportunity to become active with companies at the cafe. 

Temple Office of Sustainability Eco Reps Program

Brand new leadership development program that keeps you honest and on track with your goals.

Featured questions, answered by Zimri!

sustainable innovation
#EcoChampion Zimri during sustainable innovation Webinar

Q: What does sustainability mean to you, as the Founder and CEO of Bucha Leather?

A: I am always thinking about zero waste and what the end of life is for our product. Constantly thinking about making our production as clean as humanly possible while keeping it inspired and our values centered around circular production goals. 

Q: Can you consume the product that is used to create Bucha Leather?

A: Yes! It is safe but it won’t be like kombucha and will probably taste like sweet bacterial tea.

Q: How many different types of products can Bucha imitate?

A: We will move into new products as we achieve new levels of technical strength and durability. But it is important to note that we are not imitating – we are replacing the traditional leather industry! We are the new and the next leather. Currently, we are working with partners to craft the possibility of shoes, pillows and clothing. 

Q: How is Bucha Leather a climate solution?

A: We are replacing traditional animal leather products, eliminating one of the worlds largest pollutants. As a widely appealing product, Bucha appeals to all consumers. From meat lovers, to vegans, Bucha Leather is for everyone.

Follow Bucha Leather along their zero waste business journey!

Feel free to send a direct message to ask any questions and connect with the brains behind Bucha Leather Inc.

Instagram: @BuchaLeather

Facebook: @BuchaLeather

LinkedIn: Bucha Leather

green grant office of sustainability

Learn more and apply for the Green Grant!

Temple University’s Green Grant builds upon Temple University’s commitment to sustainability by funding projects led by students that focus on advancing the mission and have a positive impact on our local environment and community. The application deadline is November 30th, so head over to our website to learn more about applying!

Hey Eco Owl! Remain informed and stay connected:

Join our OwlConnect to remain informed and updated on all upcoming events with the Sustainability community at Temple. Check out our new EcoReps program while you’re there to gain hands on experience with greening our campus!

Take a look at our last Stories of Sustainability #EcoChampion, Will Fraser too!

Follow along with us on our socials to stay engaged and learn more about our upcoming #EcoChampion! 

Instagram: @TUsustainability

Twitter: @TempleEcoOwls

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