A Quick Guide to MOOP-Free Playa Style

Article by: Tessla Venus Goodwin|@GlitterSpies

Thu August 03, 2017 | 16:15 PM

Dressing up at Burning Man is one of the most exciting ways to radically express yourself. There’s truly an anything-goes attitude and people tend to push their sartorial bounds more than at regular festivals. Whether you’re called to be naked all week long, pile butterflies on top of your head or only wear the color red, this is the place to wear what's in your soul.

One of Burning Man's guiding principles is Leaving No Trace – so it is especially important to be mindful of your clothing potentially leaving any MOOP (Matter Out of Place), aka trash, whatsoever. I love sequins and glitter immensely but wouldn’t dream of leaving any of it. So in order to wear your favorite sparkly things without being a sparkle pony, take the following precautions.

Test Your Beaded and Sequin Garments

The Number One thing to do is to try on all your outfits before you leave and jump around and walk up and down your hallway a few times. If beads are falling off your jacket or you leave a trail of sequins on the floor, leave those items at home. If you absolutely have to wear a piece, check to see where the beads or sequins are falling from and tie off the string. You can also put a little bit of superglue on any loose threads. Most new sequins fabrics are OK – it’s mostly the vintage pieces that you will want to check.

100% MOOP free alternative: Holographic, glittery fabric. Try something from Sea Dragon Studio.

Avoid Glitter Boots (Mostly)

The boots above are amazing! But glitter gets everywhere.

Unless your boots are made of a glittery pleather (where the shimmer is infused into the material), they are most likely going to shed. If you walk and glitter comes off, definitely leave them at home. If you wipe your hand across your boots and just a little bit of glitter comes off, you can spray them with a clear coat of acrylic sealer and they will probably be OK.

100% MOOP free alternative: Metallic boots. There are some great ones at Dolls Kill and Dr. Martens. It would be wise to check Poshmark and eBay for discounted or limited edition boots, as well.

Only Bring Biodegradable Glitter

A post shared by BioGlitz (@bioglitz) on

Loose glitter is going to get everywhere. That is a fact. Regular craft glitter is made out of petrol-based aluminum coated plastic and other harmful materials that can disturb the oceans and wildlife and will never biodegrade. There are now a lot of companies that make biodegradable options. BioGlitz is plant based and completely compostable. Make sure to keep your glitter tightly sealed in a glass jar for safe keeping and out of direct sunlight. However, some people believe biodegradable glitter is still MOOP. I disagree, but be aware of that fact and use your own judgment.

Beware of Feathers

Festival Headgear 2017 Unique Headgear Haley Busch

Photo by: Haley Busch

Although Burning Man has lifted the “official” ban on feathers, feathers are still a MOOP style culprit. Beware of craft feathers, marabou, and ostrich specifically. Feathers on headpieces or feather earrings usually stay in place and are fine. It’s mostly boas and jackets you have to worry about. Be especially conscious when wearing feathers on headpieces and steer clear of cultural appropriation and insensitivity.

100% MOOP free alternative: A great alternative to feather boas are Mongolian or faux Mongolian fur scarves. They can create a similar effect and do not tend to shed.

Bring Extra Hardware

Make sure to have a bunch of carabiners and safety pins on deck. It is also wise to bring extra chains and strings if any of your jewelry items need help. That way you can attach or re-attach things to your backpack or outfit so they don’t fall off.

The giant safety pins above are absolute lifesavers! I always attach one to my scarves so I can pin them to my coat and they don’t fly off when bike riding.