Responsible Moop-Free Alternatives

Here is the blog I wrote about LNT Playa Wear:

“Man-up LNT Tips: Leave No Trace (LNT) is an vital principal of Burning Man. LNT is the responsibility of all burners… yeah, we’re talking to you! It’s time to Man Up and get serious about LNT. Below are LNT topics that you need to know about. 

LNT Playawear: Does this MOOP make my butt look big? Playa fashion is a great way to demonstrate Radical Self-Expression. Luckily, LNT (Leave No Trace) doesn’t have to mean GNS (Got No Style). It’s easy to be fabulous without wearing MOOP so don’t get pulled over by Playa Fashion Police.  

Why Should You Care? As burners… it’s EVERYONE’S job to adhere to the LNT guidelines. DPW who executes the post-burn Clean Up and Playa Restoration, spends months plucking incrusted feather bits, false eyelashes and plastic MOOP out of the playa. We seriously don’t need to give DPW something to be cranky about. Bottom line, If we fail to meet the LNT standards, we risk not getting our event permit from the BLM for the following year. 

DIY Leather Feathers

The Survival Guide once stated that feathers are NOT permitted on the playa, but now says it’s your responsibility to keep feathers from becoming MOOP. Yes, feathers are beautiful, spiritual and come from nature, but they are not indigenous to the Black Rock Desert. Even if you sew your feathers in, tiny tufts do come loose, fly away and become MOOP around BRC and the trash fence. Upon arrival, Gate crew asks if you have feathers so just be responsible…  don’t bring feathers.
Alternative: Leather Feathers which can be made into any style, color or size, available on my site here, Etsy or make your own.

BRC wouldn’t be the same without the fur-kini, leggings and luxurious full-length coats. Sadly, cheap faux-fur fabric can fray and let loose lime-green fur balls.
Alternative: When making or buying your faux-fur garments, make sure the edges or finished, serged or zig-zag stitched. Test your garment by tugging hard at the edges to see if anything comes loose.

Glitter & Sequins:
Like shiny things? No matter how well you attach shiny plastic, it will escape.
Alternative: Metallic fabrics like Holographic Lycra. Not only will your outfit be more comfortable, it will last longer and be washable so you can re-use it. 

Beads & Gems:
Mardi Gras beads and strung beads can break and glued-on gems become dislodged in the heat and dust.
Alternative: Metallic fabric trim (without dingle-berries) that can be sewed on. It does take longer, but you’ll also be making a garment that is washable and not disposable after one burn. 

False Eyelashes, Bindis & Body Gems:
These are beautiful yes, but are tiny and do fall off and become micro-MOOP… very difficult to pick up.
Alternative: Mascara and body paint works well and can be removed safely with baby wipes.  

Belly-dancing Coin Belt:
Nothing says “hot-exotic-hippy” like shiny metal coins hanging off your ass, but it also says “MOOPER”. When you ride a bike, sit on a camp chair or climb on something, those buggers snag and break off.
Alternative: There are plenty of exotic fabrics available. Try layering multiple colors of sheer fabrics, which also look beautiful when they catch the wind.  

Fringe is sexy, but it won’t be when strands snag, fray and go missing.
Alternative: You can cut thick fringe into non-fraying fabric like stretch lycra blends or cotton jersey. To make fringe durable, cut them at least as thick as your chubbiest finger. 

Like Tribbles, these little guys are fun, but can’t withstand playa conditions when glued on.
Alternative: Go with bubble-fur for that pom-pom look. If you must use pom-pons, take the time to hand sew them on. 

Grass Skirts:
A classic newbie mistake. Plastic or organic grass skirts WILL get you voted off the island. There is no way to keep the grass in tact.
Alternative: For a tropical look, opt for a svelte colorful unisex sarong. 

What happens to hot glue when it gets hot? It melts, so all those little things you glued on to your outfit, will eventually become hot and dusty, loose their grip and fly away.
Alternative: Spend the time to sew on patches, trim or bling. If you must glue, test fabric glue by exposing it to extreme heat and dust to make sure it will hold.”

Note: This blog was rejected as being too ‘preachy’ so it was never published. Okay, fair enough. We all love to look a beautiful Sparkle Ponies in feathers. Burning Man is all about radical self-expression, I get it. 

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