Dunia Bora



Country: Kenya 🇰🇪

Launch date: 2022

Stage: Pilot-Stage (The first activities have happened, and you have proof of concept)

Project Summary: Describe your contribution in one sentence

Dunia Bora: Pioneering Sustainable Fashion with Cactus Leather

What are the additional countries or territories of impact?

Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania

Challenge Focus: What topic does your project most directly relate to?

Creating structures of support for regenerative solutions to today's climate challenges Turning data and information into stories that spark action around environmental issues Creating inclusive pathways for people to contribute towards building a sustainable world

Website URL(s) or social media handles


The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The traditional leather industry is a major contributor to environmental degradation, with the production of leather generating up to 370,000 tons of hazardous waste per year, polluting water sources and affecting the health of communities around the world. In addition, the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of global waste water and 10% of global carbon emissions, making it a significant contributor to climate change. As consumers become increasingly aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment, there is a growing need for eco-friendly, ethical, and sustainable alternatives to traditional leather that are still high-quality and affordable.

Your connection and commitment: How close are you to the problem and/or the community impacted?

As the founder of Dunia Bora, I am intimately connected to the challenges facing my community in Laikipia county. I grew up in this area and experienced firsthand the devastating effects of drought and climate change on our small-scale farming and livestock, where I experienced cows dying and farms drying up. Leaving us without a way to earn a livelihood and worse of all with any water to drink. I am committed to finding solutions that will help my community adapt to these challenges and build a more sustainable future. These challenges are ones that I and 10 million other people living in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya relate to and have to survive through.


Through my enterprise, I have been able to introduce cactus farming to some members of my community, providing them with a new source of income and a way to weather the effects of climate change. By using cactus to create leather fabric, we are also contributing to the movement towards sustainable fashion and reducing the environmental impact of the industry. By using the waste products of our production of process to create fodder, we will be able to help these communities who have enshrined animal keeping in their culture to feed their livestock too.


My commitment to my community extends beyond simply providing them with economic opportunities. I am dedicated to educating them about the impact of their actions on the environment and the global community. By creating a sustainable business model that supports local communities and reduces our carbon footprint, we can help pave the way towards a more sustainable future for all.

Your approach: How are you enabling other people to identify as green changemakers? How are you influencing them to get involved in your initiative or care about the issue you are addressing?

We engage farmers, offering them training on permaculture and the butterfly effect of cultivating cactus, empowering them to mitigate climate change using local resources. Through our educational efforts, we also raise awareness of the global impact of utilizing these resources and their contribution to climate change.

Furthermore, we enable individuals to identify as green changemakers through our marketing and outreach activities. Leveraging social media platforms, we share our mission, educate people about the environmental impact of the traditional leather industry, and promote the benefits of eco-friendly fashion alternatives. By collaborating with influencers and like-minded individuals, we expand our reach and inspire a broader audience to join the movement.

In addition, we prioritize community leadership by training leaders to educate others on regenerative cactus farming and its associated benefits. This approach ensures knowledge transfer and wider adoption of sustainable practices within the community. This has led to a mindset shift where community leaders, now see the need to shift to sustainable practices, beyond the operations of Dunia Bora. This has led to a butterfly effect within the community where they have started to innovate on the use of cactus to create juice and flour that they use for food.

Moreover, we provide our customers with opportunities to learn about our sustainable production methods and the positive impact of our products on the environment and local communities. By sharing our story and values, we aim to foster a community of individuals dedicated to sustainability and creating a positive environment.

Through choosing Dunia Bora's products, customers can become green changemakers themselves, making a meaningful difference in the world.

Community involvement: How is your approach involving community participation, especially the historically marginalized groups?

Community involvement is at the heart of our approach at Dunia Bora. We recognize that historically marginalized communities have been disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and social inequalities, and we are committed to addressing these issues through our initiative.


Firstly, we source our raw materials from the local community, particularly from the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya, where cactus plants thrive. By doing this, we create economic opportunities for these communities, providing fair wages and stable employment. This approach helps to support the livelihoods of the local population and promote sustainable economic growth in the region.


Secondly, we prioritize the employment of historically marginalized groups, including Indigenous and minority communities. By providing employment opportunities to these communities, we are helping to address social inequalities and promote diversity and inclusivity in the workforce. Our goal is to empower these communities to become active participants in the sustainable fashion industry and create a sense of ownership and pride in their work.


Finally, we are committed to working closely with the local communities to ensure that our initiative aligns with their cultural and environmental values. We engage in dialogue with community leaders and stakeholders, seeking their input and feedback on our approach.

Your Innovation: What is different about your initiative compared to other solutions already out there? How is your approach original and innovative? We are particularly interested in solutions that use regenerative approaches.

At Dunia Bora, our initiative is innovative and different from other solutions in several ways. Firstly, we use the nopal species of cactus to create a leather-like material, which is a unique and innovative approach to sustainable fashion. Unlike other alternatives, such as plant-based or synthetic leather, cactus leather is biodegradable and does not require harmful chemicals in its production process. Moreover, cactus is a regenerative plant that can grow in arid and semi-arid regions, making it an ideal material for sustainable fashion in regions where water resources are scarce.


Secondly, our initiative is designed with a focus on social impact and community involvement. We source our raw materials from local communities, particularly Indigenous and minority groups, and prioritize their employment in our manufacturing process. This approach promotes economic empowerment and creates sustainable livelihoods in regions that are often marginalized and excluded from the global economy.


Thirdly, we use avocado waste as a natural tanning agent in our production process, which is both sustainable and environmentally friendly. Avocado waste is a byproduct of the avocado industry, which is prevalent in Kenya, and by using this waste, we are reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and contributes to environmental degradation.


Overall, our approach is original and innovative in its use of regenerative materials, its focus on social impact and community involvement, and its use of waste products to create sustainable fashion. By doing this, we are contributing to a more sustainable and equitable future for both people and the planet

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed.

During my exploration, of using the cactus plant to address the issue of food insecurity through production of floor, juice and jam from the plant, I came across the nopal cactus plant and was fascinated by its textile potential. I then conducted research and experimented with different techniques to create a sustainable, durable and high-quality leather-like material. I also looked into ways to make the manufacturing process environmentally friendly and ethical. Through this process, I found that using avocado waste as a natural tanning agent was a viable solution.


As I continued to work on this project, I realized the potential impact it could have on my community. The arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya, where the nopal cactus plant grows, are home to many marginalized communities. By setting up processing plants in these areas, we could provide job opportunities and economic empowerment for these communities. Additionally, by using a regenerative approach, we could also contribute to the cultivation of the cactus plant, which is a good carbon absorber, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.


This "Aha!" moment led me to start Dunia Bora, a company that offers a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional leather while also contributing to community empowerment and environmental regeneration

Impact: How has your project made a difference so far? How is it contributing to a zero-carbon world- where every person thrives, and nobody gets left behind?

Dunia Bora's smart culture project has made a significant impact since its inception. First, our use of cactus leather has significantly reduced the carbon emissions and industrial water pollution associated with traditional leather production. This is because our production process is not only eco-friendly, but it also utilizes the natural regenerative properties of the cactus plant to improve the soil quality.

We have ensured that the number of cactus thriving in the farms is able to absorb all the carbon emissions within the entire supply chain of our production process, thereby ensuring that our processes are contribute to zero carbon emissions. In addition we look forward to engaging in carbon offseting programmes where we increase the economic value of cactus farming of this project by working with companies that work in carbon offseting. We have managed to absorb 50 tons of carbon.


By educating the communities of the effects of their daily living on the climate change endemic we are urging them and introducing them to more environmental friendly materials, we have provided employment opportunities for 10 people who work on a part-time basis.


Through our innovative approach, we have also raised awareness about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment and the need for afford sustainable alternatives. We have partnered and are training 10 more local farmers.

What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

To take our project to the next level by investing in capacity building in our equipments, processing strategies and training for community members who join our workforce.

We have partnered with the Cornell Sustainability Consultants club l of Cornell University in developing an effective marketing strategy and condut our market research and the Centre for materials research to help us in our research and product development phase to ensure that we continuously adopt the best production processed which protect our environment and ensure our products are of the best quality in the market and Rivatex, a Kenyan textile company to help us scale up our production processes by outsourcing their resources. 

Our cactus leather production has the potential to absorb up to 14 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to removing 3 million cars from the road annually.

By using avocado waste as a tanning agent, we have saved over 1.5 million liters of water compared to traditional leather production methods.

Our expansion plans aim to create employment opportunities for up to 50,000 people in the next 18 months, particularly for the historically marginalized communities living in arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya.

We aim to reduce fashion waste in Kenya by 50% within the next 5 years by promoting sustainable fashion practices and offering affordable eco-friendly alternatives

Your team: What is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

The current composition of our team includes Vincent Muriithi Muhoro as the Founder and Executive Director of Dunia Bora. Muhuhu Peter is our Chief Operating Officer. Peter Chege is our Public Relations Manager, passionate about visual storytelling and advocacy for equity for minority groups, having organized volunteer programs to benefit his community. Hafsakeen Mohamednur is our Finance Manager, graduated from Kenyatta University and studied economics at KCA universit. Mwanaisha Sharif is our Community Outreach Manager, a final year undergraduate student pursuing Civil Aviation Management, and a member of the Bajun community, participating in projects dealing with UN SDGs.

As the project grows, we plan to bring in a supply chain leader of the fashion industry to help us scale production and ensure sustainable sourcing of materials. We also plan to hire a financial assistant manager to help with budgeting and financial planning.

Operational Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure operational sustainability.

DUNIA BORA'S SUPPLY CHAIN Supply Chain: We have developed a sustainable and traceable supply chain that is transparent, accountable, and reduces environmental impact.

We have established partnerships with local cactus farmers for local sourcing.We also source our tanning agent, avocado waste, from local avocado markets and companies. We have also set up our plants in the arid and semi arid areas to reduce Carbon emissions that are associated with the logistics, we have also adopted the leasing/subscription purchasing in our model to ensure that we are able to track our products through their entire lifespan and encourage users to return the fabric to the shops Incase of tear and wear or if they would want to replace it  instead of disposing it in the wild.


Water and Energy Conservation: We have implemented several measures to conserve water and energy in our production processes. We use rainwater harvesting to save water during the rainy season. Additionally, we have a wastewater treatment system in place to ensure that our wastewater is treated and reusable.


Social Responsibility: We are committed to providing fair wages and working conditions for our employees. We have implemented measures to ensure that our employees are working in a safe and healthy environment. We empower the local community by creating job opportunities for historically marginalized communities.



VIDEO: Please share the link to a 1-minute YouTube video that answers the following “I identify as a Green Changemaker because...”. Ensure that your video does not exceed 60 seconds


Impact Model: While reviewing applications, we identified a need to better understand the impact models for the innovations that applied. How would you describe the activities you engage in and what outcomes and long-term impact do they lead to?

We, at Dunia Bora, engage in sustainable activities with positive outcomes for the environment and the community. Our eco-friendly leather production from nopal cactus involves local farmers as stakeholders. The outcome includes carbon absorption of 54,000 tonnes annually, tracked through measurements of absorbed and emitted carbon.

Repurposing avocado waste as a natural tanning agent involves the avocado market and companies as stakeholders. The outcome is water conservation, with over 700,000 gallons saved in production. The processed avocado waste is measured to track waste utilization.

Our community outreach and training program involves local community members as stakeholders. The outcome is economic empowerment through employment and skill development. We track the number of employees and community members trained.

Additionally, our activities raise awareness through social media. The outcome is increased awareness of sustainable practices. We share our initiatives, impacts, and outputs to inspire others to make systemic changes.

Long-Term Impact:
- Carbon Footprint Reduction: Aiming to absorb 432,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
- Economic Growth: Creating employment opportunities for economic empowerment.
- Sustainable Fashion: Inspiring the industry to adopt eco-friendly alternatives.
- Water Conservation: Saving over 1,000,000 gallons of water in production.

- Mount Kenya Regenerative Oils: Utilizing their avocado waste (3 tonnes per week).
- Kakuzi: Exploring partnership opportunities.
- Mokere Farmers Group: Training members and sourcing raw materials.
- Engagement with Community Leaders: Collaborating for sustainable expansion.
- Training Maasai and Yaaku Community: Empowering local communities.

Partnerships with local organizations help us accelerate progress.

Audience: Who are you most directly impacting through your work? Who is the target beneficiary? Please specify if the population you are reaching is underserved due to any of the following characteristics?

Socio-Economic Class Ethnicity Geography Age - Youth

If you chose the "Other" option, please specify


How are you activating green changemakers?

Building Understanding: communicating complex science, data and / or systems theory surrounding climate change in an accessible way, tailored to the specific audience and context Making progress visible: identifying tangible metrics that help people understand how their contribution is part of a bigger whole Imagining new possibilities: leading group processes to help people see the possibilities and consequences of acting; innovating new products, business models, or ways of organising

If you chose the "Other" option, please specify


Organization Type: Which organization type best describes how your work or initiative has been organized or registered?


Tell us briefly about how you have and/ or would like to engage partners or other changemakers to enhance your approach:

Beyond partnering with Cornell sustainability consultants and Mokere Farmers 

We look to partner  with Soko, a renowned sustainable fashion brand, allows us to leverage their expertise and network. Together, we aim to raise awareness about the environmental impact of the fashion industry and promote the adoption of eco-friendly alternatives like our cactus leather . Through joint marketing campaigns, educational initiatives, and collaborative product development, we can reach a wider audience and inspire more consumers to make sustainable fashion choices. 

Another valuable partnership is with Patagonia, a global leader in sustainable outdoor apparel. By collaborating with Patagonia, we gain access to their extensive knowledge and experience in scaling sustainable businesses. This partnership opens doors for mentorship, guidance on operational efficiency, and support in navigating the industry. Additionally, Patagonia's credibility and reputation contribute to the validation of our approach and help build trust among consumers and stakeholders. The outcome of this partnership is a strengthened operational foundation, accelerated growth, and the ability to reach new markets and audiences.

These collaborations would bring together expertise, resources, and networks, creating a synergistic effect that amplifies our mission of creating a sustainable and ethical fashion industry. 

Annual budget: Hint: What is the cost for your current operations every year (or most recent year)? This is expenditure for your project or organization. The reference currency is the U.S. dollar.

$10k - $50k

Winning Impact Potential: How would winning the Green Changemakers Challenge impact and leverage your work?

Winning the Green Changemakers Challenge and receiving the $25,000 prize would significantly impact Dunia Bora's work. It would enable us to scale up production, invest in research and development, and expand our marketing and outreach efforts. The prize money would support community empowerment initiatives, foster partnerships with organizations aligned with our mission, and enable us to communicate complex climate change science in an accessible way. We would identify tangible metrics to help individuals understand their contribution, while also leading group processes to imagine new possibilities for sustainable products and business models. Furthermore, winning the challenge would enhance our credibility, attract potential partners like Soko and Patagonia, and enable us to leverage their expertise and resources. Overall, this prize would amplify our impact, enable us to reach a wider audience, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Skills Matching: If you win, you may have the opportunity to be matched with HSBC employees for skill-based mentorship. If matched, which of the following skills would you be most interested in receiving?

Accounting & Finance