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Published on May 13th, 2010 | by Kelly Rand


Donate Hair and Natural Fibers to the Oil Spill Clean Up


As news about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to darken, citizen clean up efforts are on the move.

Founded in 1998, Matter of Trust has been collecting and making hair mats and booms to help in oil spill clean up. Their method is simple genius; donated hair is collected, stuffed into hose and used to soak up spills.

Why hair? Hair easily collects oil and is really good at it. Ever go a day or two without washing it? Exactly.

Since the spill, Matter of Trust has opened several warehouses within the Gulf States to collect hair donations and make hair booms. Thousands of volunteers have signed up to have Stocking Stuffer and Bar B Q parties where they’re making booms. They’re calling them Boom B Qs.

Want to donate to the effort? How-to after the jump.

First you’ll need to sign up to donate here.

You can donate shampooed hair of any length and any type, including dyed hair. But only HEAD hair. Any type of fur or waste wool (have some extra roving?) or horse hair or feathers are also accepted.

Box up your fur or hair and clearly mark it with “DEBRIS FREE HAIR / FUR or NYLONS” depending on your donation.

If you have signed up, addresses of where to send your donations are being emailed out. They’ve received over 500,000 pounds of hair and fur so far! That’s a lot of hair!

And as the New York Times reported:

Matter of Trust has not been able to coordinate with the official response team handling the spill, so volunteers are putting out the booms themselves.

“We learned this with the hurricanes,” Ms. Richardson-Bacon said. “You can’t wait for the government or BP to come protect you.”

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About the Author

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting. Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.

17 Responses to Donate Hair and Natural Fibers to the Oil Spill Clean Up

  1. Pingback: Donate Hair and Natural Fibers to the Oil Spill Clean Up

  2. Stacey says:

    I just signed up (I have a huge bag of washed roving that felted a bit too much to use for spinning)… thanks so much for the link!

  3. kristi says:

    I also know our local Capri College of Cosmetology is participating. Please find your local school of cosmetology and see if they are participating!

  4. Jessie says:

    Need to know the adress on where to ship the hair?

  5. Ralph ogan says:

    I own a small Mattress recycling business located in South Carolina. If it will help you, I would like to Donate to you or anyone who can use my material to help clean up the oil on your coast. I am sending pics and a video of my offering. It is recycled non-woven raw cotton fiber, I also have a mixed fiber gray shoddy pad to offer. I will give you 1000,000lbs all I have and all I will process for the rest of this year if it will help in any way. I know you are a busy man and I don’t want to waste your time. Please have someone contact me if you are interested.
    Best Wishes
    Ralph Bogan
    Nine Lives Mattress Recycling
    837 N. Pamplico hwy.
    Pamplico, SC.29583

  6. Pingback: Craft Hope Gives Hope to Gulf Coast : Crafting a Green World

  7. James says:

    It seems like there is finally some good news with the spill. The Houston Chronicle reports, U.S. ships were being outfitted earlier this month with four pairs of skimming booms airlifted from the Netherlands and should be deployed within days.” Could this be the turning point? For all those feeling pretty gloomy about this situation, I recommend a good laugh… Here’s a funny joke,

  8. Thousands of volunteers have signed up to have Stocking Stuffer and Bar B Q parties where they’re making booms.

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  12. hair of any length and any type, including dyed hair, this sounds very nice. Every can do this.

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