INSTRUCTIONS for how sign up to donate hair, fur, fleece, feathers & nylons
Our Online Store
Ways to Contribute $

Photos & Videos

1. Are the booms being used in the Gulf?

Yes, here are photos and more coming in all the time. Also recently, BP flicker page and WJHD. If you are in the Gulf and need donated hair boom to protect your beach, harbor, estuary, canal… please email us with NEED BOOM in the subject title.

2. How are the oily booms disposed of?

These booms are generally deployed by municipalities and harbors that have hazardous waste disposal plans in place. What we have been told is most of the Deep Water Oil Spill hazardous waste is being landfilled in specially lined hazardous waste landfills in the Gulf states, although some waste may be incinerated.

Because of the dispersants, we do not know of any significant amounts of this waste used in composting experiments, although we have hopes. The 1,000,000+ gallons of dispersant Corexit contains 2-Butoxyethanol which we’ll let you Google. The EPA banned the spraying of Corexit dispersant May 19th 2010, however it is still being sprayed as it is considered by some to be a lesser of 2 evils to sink the oil. More oil all over the beaches and marshes might be the alternative.

Officially, for any materials soiled as a result of the BP oil spill, please contact this number 1 866 448 5816, provide nearest address and if possible GPS location and Deepwater Horizon personnel will respond. For your own safety, do not touch soiled items yourself, leave that trained crews for response. BP is not responsible for hazardous waste pick up unrelated to the Deepwater oil spill.

3. Are these booms safe for the environment?

Yes. Please seek quote by Riki Ott PhD, Marine Toxicologist, Author and Exxon Valdez Oil Spill expert –

The oil industry’s approach is to use oil based synthetic products to respond to oil spills. After use, this results in mountains of contaminated material that need to be land filled or incinerated. This creates a secondary pollution problem. At least with hair booms and hair mats, natural material is used that breaks down faster and releases less toxins when incinerated or landfilled. They even have a chance at being composted with bacteria. To suggest that any possible shedding of natural fibers into the gulf are a problem, pales in comparison to methods using hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic industrial solvents. The benefits of removing oil waste with natural fibers largely outweighs the minimal immediate risk to the environment. Also they reduce the secondary pollution concerns that come with using oil based products, such as only synthetic boom and dispersants.” May 2010.

4. Can these booms float?

Yes. Fleece and fur booms really love to float. They all float for hours saturated in oil if they have orange mesh. And fishermen have shown us you can make anything float, even steel. For our booms in burlap or crawdad bags, we add lobster buoys or a piece of styrofoam pool noodle attached. Please keep sending more suggestions. And check out our photos and videos of how they’re being deployed.

5. How are these booms being used?
Please see our latest Photos & Videos. With this sticky oil, people are rolling them on the beaches to pick up goo balls, putting them in shrimp bags that are tied together on line from pier to pier. For beaches and marshes, “sandbagging” or hair bagging by stuffing donated burlap bags full of hair, fur, fleece and feathers and piling them to protect from black tides.

Raking and bulldozing sand to remove tar balls can disturb the turtle eggs and rolling the boom over the goo balls is less dangerous for the turtles. Of course, the oil being there may make both these efforts moot. But we want to try to do what we can.

6. Is BP using these booms?

No. BP’s Critical Resources Materials Management Team contacted us on May 15th and they were very excited and produced a report for usage of our warehouses of donated natural fibers to protect the canals. On May 21st BP’s Public Affairs department, who were not in contact with the BP Critical Resources Dept, told us that BP wanted to apologize but that had enough of their own BP synthetic boom. Since then, Gulf municipalities, harbors, beach condo associations and hotels are taking the donated natural fiber boom to protect their shores, estuaries, canals… wherever they can. We want to thank BP Critical Resources Materials Management Team For Boom Acquisition for their innovative ideas and to say that they were a pleasure to work with.

7. Who invented the hair boom?

Phil McCrory, a hair stylist from Alabama was shampooing an oily head of hair 20 years ago and watching the news coverage of the otters with their fur covered in oil after the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. It clicked for him: You shampoo because hair collects oil. Phil invented the hair boom and the hair mat and is now with a company called OTTI MAT.

Matter of Trust is operating in the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill with permission from World Response Group, Inc. the owner of the patent for OTTI MAT. Matter of Trust’s booms are for donation to the Gulf. Matter of Trust’s booms are made from donated fibers and assembled by volunteers. Matter of Trust’s booms do not meet the specifications of the industrial made OTTI MAT. OTTI MAT purchases hair in China and manufactures mats in China and these mats are approved by the EPA and NASA & Page 2. To buy hair mats and support the inventor, please check out

8. Does Matter of Trust collect donations of hair, fur, fleece, and nylons all the time?

No. We can only accept fiber (hair, fur, fleece, feathers) donations when and where we have enough warehouse space. And as of July 2010, all 19 warehouses are full right now. We ask everyone to sign up to our database to prepare for future donation alerts. Right now volunteers in the Gulf are working their way through MOUNTAINS of your generous donations to our 19 warehouses. We have already made 15 miles of boom thanks to 650 volunteers. Donations of fiber clippings and nylons have come in from every city in North America 30 other countries! Many people even sent in booms they’ve made themselves to help our volunteers! When we can take in more, we email donors through our database.

Our focus now is deploying boom in the Gulf as the oil has come in and hurricane season has officially started. Sadly, this spill is a marathon not a sprint. The oil is still gushing and boom will be needed for months, maybe years. Please be signed up to us, to participate in this environmental long term effort.

Did you know that there are over 2600 oil spills a year around the world? The more people who sign up, the more natural fiber we have locally for each spill and that saves on shipping. Please sign up here.

9. How many booms have you made for the Gulf?

As of July, 2010 in the 19 warehouses at the Gulf and the one warehouse in San Francisco CA, we have well over 20,000 booms made by over 650 volunteers and this is 1/10th of the fiber we’ve been donated! See photos. Now we are concentrating on deploying and testing best designs as this odd sticky oil comes onto rocks, marshes, beaches, bays, harbors… we can’t take in more donations till we make more room in the warehouses. Please sign up to donate in future.

10. I want to send in hair, fur or fleece what should I do?

Please see our instructions page on how to participate in this program. If we are not currently taking in more boxes because warehouses are full, please keep one full box on hand ready to send in for our emergency alerts. Fiber (hair, fur, fleece, feathers) are renewable resources and so there is A LOT available. Donors are all helping divert these useful materials from the waste stream, we hope many people will come up with uses for this material and people will create green jobs eventually!

10a. I want to send in nylons what should I do?
Please see our instructions page on how to participate in this program. Even when we have a lot of hair, fur & fleece, we may need more nylons at some sites, if you are signed up, please email us with your account name and / or number and we will contact you re needs for nylons, thanks.

10b. Should I collect from local salons and groomers and ship to you?
Not best. The Gulf spill has shown everyone the enormous generosity that comes out in crisis! We are grateful for all the collaboration efforts and recommend committing to only a one time drive.

Better yet, if you want to go to salons & groomers and promote donating, please tell them they can sign up. Don’t offer to continually collect and ship yourself it will become very expensive for you. Donors are more careful about having no debris in the boxes if they ship from their own businesses. And we only want willing, eager, careful donors as we stick our hands in these boxes.. Also businesses can expense or write off the shipping. Thanks for spreading the word, that is a HUGE help! We have flyers that might be helpful.

11. What kinds and lengths of hair and other fibers do you take?

We accept all sizes of waste clippings of “top of the head” hair. Yes to natural hair extensions. No synthetic hair though. Please
see packing instructions

We accept all sizes of fur and fleece clippings (only a handful of seed or hay per box or bag, and, of course, please don’t send in fur or fleece that has any pee or poo 🙂 Please see packing instructions.

We accept dreads in separate bags, they usually have fungus growing inside of them, but they can soak up oil. See packing instructions

We strongly recommend that ponytails 10 inches or longer be separated and donated instead to our amazing friends at:
Pantine Beautiful Lengths
Please check with their sites for their specific requirements.

12. How can I find a salon or groomer donating in my area?

We have all participants sign up to our ExcessAccess program. Click here to look up lists of contributing businesses helping the Gulf near you so that you can support them by being a client.

13. How can I volunteer to help the Gulf if I’m in the Gulf States or travelling there?

First please be signed up to our database program so we can reach you easily from the field. If you want to make booms, we have many Boom B Qs during the month of June 2010. Please check out our Twitter and Facebook accounts for alerts on the latest volunteer parties where things are booming – literally. If you are in the Gulf or going there, please email and if you are in other States or Countries please email for details.

14. How can I volunteer for Matter of Trust in San Francisco, California

We have thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls coming in every day since the Gulf Spill Program started. So many generous and amazing salons, groomers and fleece farmers as well as concerned individuals. If you have time to come and volunteer in San Francisco on Twin Peaks, we are happy to have you. Bring your lap top if you have one. Also, you can come and make boom at our warehouse off 3rd Street, we have 20,000 pounds of fiber here to get through as well as all the fiber at the Gulf. Please email and for details.

15. How can I help if I am not at the Gulf or in San Francisco?

First, please sign up so you can get alerts when fibers, nylons and volunteers are needed. There are many ways that salons, groomers, farmers and families are supporting the Gulf and this Matter of Trust program!

– Cut-a-thons to raise awareness and collect funds, nylons and fibers for the Gulf charities and waste fiber recycling

– Outreach to your local harbors and industries that might see small oil spills. If you meet people who are ever need boom, please let them know that they can contact us at and put in the subject title NEED BOOM.

– Help to orchestrate this fiber recycling system in your area. Ideally, we would all love to see less oil spills and more green jobs. Salons, groomers and farmers have spent a lot of money to send their large amounts of fiber to volunteers in the Gulf and for this extreme a spill that makes sense. Generally, however, it makes more sense to have local fiber collections and to make booms near all your ports, harbors, lakes and coastlines as well as places where industry might spill oil onto land. We are partnering with people and organizations and working out how this could be done through green jobs grants and municipalities to make this sustainable and keep fibers local. If you would like to help, please email us and put LET’S DO THIS HERE TOO (+ your city/state/country) in the subject title. Thanks!

16. Who pays for shipping costs?

All you generous donors are paying for your own shipping costs. We would like to use this huge mobilization that came from the response to the Gulf spill to help orchestrate local pick ups and use of booms locally to reduce the carbon footprint of the program for the future. For extreme situations, like the Gulf of Mexico spill, the need to centralize warehouses along this Coast makes sense, but it’s expensive to the donors who don’t live in the Gulf.

17. What can International donors do?

It’s extremely expensive for International donors to send to the Gulf of Mexico. One box or envelope shows great solidarity! Nylons are lighter to send. Some people have asked about border issues. We seem to be getting in boxes from everywhere without problems. Please see #15 for more ideas of how to participate if shipping is too costly.

18. Can we make boom where we are instead of just shipping loose hair?

Yes! Wonderful, thank you! When volunteers are tired and we have warehouse space, booms are very welcome. And we love to see boom b q’s happening with cut-a-thons all over North America and beyond! What a community! Here are videos that help people set up for booming.
How to make a hair boom DEMO– 3:25 music: “Slanty Boogie” by Morgan Hevrin
How to Set up a Boom B Q – 4:35 by Vincent Koistinen
YouTube Ft. Myers, FL Boom B Q – by Ingrid Setzer & Vincent Koistinen
More ways to apply outer mesh to hair boom DEMO – 2:00 music: “Slanty Boogie”
We use 101407 Orange Mesh – Rolls of 150 ft. @ $49.00 each (800) 531-5112 fits snug but hard to put on. Another mesh that is more expensive, looser but easier to put on is: Industrial Netting NG3060 1800 328-8456 4-5″ orange sleeve. $85.50 for 164ft. If you can’t afford to do the mesh, we totally understand, we fundraise for it all the time

19. I signed up and I didn’t get an activation email or any email alerts. Can you help?

Please check your spam folders. And please note the alerts will come from our database program ExcessAccess not Matter of Trust. As we have had so many sign ups in one month, we have had to notify a lot of email providers that we are a subscription service. Those servers have all responded so hopefully emails aren’t being blocked any more. To get your activation link and / or password resent please click here:

20. What about dryer lint, wool, hay and other ideas?

Dryer lint has synthetic fibers in it and breaks down into such tiny particles in water, we can’t get it to stay in the nylons, so we’re not looking at it for booms. However, as furniture stuffing it does make a lot more sense than purchasing new oil based synthetic fibers. So, we’re trying to connect hotels that have large amounts of dryer lint with furniture makers.

Spun wool and woven materials and even feather quilts and pillows have been offered to us, for now we only are working with the loose fibers, but thank you for the offers and we are looking into uses for them and will get back to everyone.

BP’s Critical Resources team told us that they thought hay would be good for dams in the canals. I haven’t seen photos of them using that though. Hay sounds like a good idea to us. We’re not collecting it because it is a food source and we look at recycling materials out of the waste stream. Others who have access to hay should look at the advantages, it does collect oil in the videos we’ve seen. Hay bales when left in the rain weigh a ton so we know personally that hay holds on to water and can get heavy so if made into booms they need buoys like hair. Please keep sending in the ideas, if there was every a time for brainstorming, this is it.

21. Do you have posters or flyers or ways we can show our participation with this effort?
Yes! We have an online store and a T-shirts etc. partner and we have PDF flyers and Teacher’s Printouts too.

22. Can I use Matter of Trust’s ExcessAccess database to donate / wish for other things unrelated to the Gulf Spill?
Please do. Recycling and reuse to help the environment is part of what this is all about. When we do, we use less oil. Please see our general FAQ page for more information.

23. Can I use your logo for our website or T-shirts or flyers or materials to show participation?
Sure, please emails us a preview of usage – thanks!

moftlogo sqlogo


INSTRUCTIONS for how sign up to donate hair, fur, fleece, feathers & nylons
Our Online Store
Ways to Contribute $