Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Use Biodegradable Glitter This Year At Festivals!

Less than two weeks to go before Hogsozzle (click for their website and tickets!) and I’m spending the majority of my spare time thinking about how I can possibly apply enough glitter to myself to satisfy my craving for sparkle and shine. Did you know that humans are attracted to sparkly things because of an in-built instinct to head towards water sparkling in the distant? Glitter fact number 1! 

Inspired by various glittery companies popping up round the country at festivals and, more I’ve noticed, at blogger events, I started doing some research into glitter and it's effects.

 I popped along to the BooHoo A/W Press event through work, I don’t blog about fashion much as I’m not very trendy. Also, I say things ‘I’m not very trendy’ a lot, which makes me even less so.  I was gutted to have missed Go Get Glitter, who seemed to turn up just as I had to return (slightly drunk on fruity gin cocktails and having met Stacey Solomon) to the office. I did manage to get a glitter bun hairdo from The London Makeup Academy, but they didn’t use cosmetic glitter, instead spreading a thin glue over my parting which I was terribly worried wouldn’t come out but a good hot shower had the glitter specks running down the plughole…

…which brings me nicely to my main point.

 I’m worried about microplastics and you should be to – this year, we can all do some tiny things to protect our planet just a little more than we have been doing. Here are some facts about microplastics, which I cite from The Royal Society Of Chemistry but there are hundreds of articles on this subject across the web.

Microplastics are pieces of plastics less than 5mm in size. Nanoplastics are as small as 1 – 100nm.

These plastics are small enough to avoid filtration and end up directly in the sea or other water supplies. They are also small enough to be consumed by fish and birds and can build up in the body, causing problems such as infertility, deformities, growth problems and death.

They are present in many of our cosmetics – 680 tonnes of plastic microbeads are used in a year in the UK alone – luckily, many companies are trying to find other ways of adding exfoliating properties, they can use coconut husk or other natural fibres instead.  Keep an eye out for silicones and polymers  in the ingredients if you want to avoid this. 

Plastic microfibers in clothing are also a threat to the future of the oceans – they are too small to be caught in your washing machine filter system.

The main threat is still the incorrect disposal and permanent storage of waste – the best way to help is to recycle as much as possible and try not to use too much plastic – it’s getting easier every month as more companies catch on to peoples feelings about this subject.

Through fish, the microplastics also have the potential to re-enter the food chain, studies on how this could affect humans haven’t had time to gather quantifiable data yet, but common sense tells you, it can’t be good.

Some companies are doing something about it...

Johnson and Johnson recently made the sticks on their cotton buds out of paper, instead of plastic. Cotton buds flushed down the loo can cause an environmental issue as well as asewage one so this is a great move on their part and gives consumers a choice. Read more about their campaign to reduce plastics here.

Lush have removed all plastic glitter from their products and have put out the following statement:

"we’ve avoided microplastics by switching to mica and mineral glitter, as well as natural starch-based lusters. Our ingredient suppliers have worked hard to develop these plastic-free alternatives for our products, all of which are safe for the environment."

There are also companies springing up that promote the biodegradability of their glitter as a selling point - and it definitely is! This year, I'm making a pledge to ONLY use biodegradable glitters ion our festival costumes and I'll be encouraging my fellow revellers to do the same. 

Most cosmetics and craft glitter is made from non-biodegradable materials such a copolymer or aluminium foil – this means it’s a danger to birds, entering the food chain or water system through their digestion of the plastic glitter particles.

Loving life at a festival, coated in what I am certain was not bio-degradable glitter.
Most companies that sell biodegradable glitter will shout it loud and proud, so it isn’t hard to find. Avoid using craft shop glitters at festivals, or cheap ones in huge packs from Amazon. Chances are these aren’t going to be biodegradable, if it doesn’t say it is, you can assume that it’s not. I was really disappointed whilst researching this post that post of the companies that I love for their glitter bums, glitter tits and general sparkle are manufacturing non-biodegradable glitters or purchasing their components from sources that don't supply information about their friendliness towards the environment. I'm going to attempt not to feature any of these sort of brands this year, whether that be here on my blog, or on my face when we are getting face-painting or hair glitter. 

Coachella Looks by Go Get Glitter

These types of glitters can be more expensive, but you usually get a better quality product that you get through other sources that won’t irritate your skin (craft glitter can be very rough and scratchy on sensitive skin)

Here are two companies I have found that provide biodegradable glitter and I would love if you would pop in the comments if you know of any more!

Go Get Glitter - one of my favourite Instagram accounts (click here!) and popping up at festivals all over the world at the moment, these guys state that their glitter products are 100% biodegradable on their website here 

MGMA is a Bristol based company that sells biodegradable glitter and promotes it's use on the web and in person, I haven't had the chance to try out their products yet but I'll report back when I have done! Click here to visit their Etsy shop 

And if you click here, you'll find some ways you can make your own glitter, although I haven't tested this out yet!

Later in the week I will be sharing all of my moodboards for this years Cosmic Disco themed Hogsozzle, I've got all the girls dressing up this year and I can't wait to share the pictures afterwards! 

Katy xx

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