Guest Blog: Making Boom in Alabama

Guest Blogger, Brent Evans, a Salon Development Partner for the Neill Corporation for Aveda has been involved with GRN for the past 5 years through our Earth Month partnership. What exactly is Boom? To me, prior to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, it was a word that describes the loud sound heard during an explosion. Well, since that fatal day on April 20, 2010 it’s ironic that the word now brings to mind a different definition. Boom, also, is a sleeve that contains oil absorbing fibers. These sleeves, or booms, can be linked together to help protect an area from the onset of oil by absorbing it. Only days after the Deepwater Horizon began spewing oil into our precious Gulf Of Mexico, thousands of hair salons across the United States became involved by donating hair to create natural fiber booms through an organization called Matter Of Trust. Over 1,000 have already been produced and distributed to locals that are using them to protect their personal property. For example, Gulf-front homeowners use them to clean up the beach and they’re being used around Marinas to help boat-owners protect their vessels. Also, they’re in Mobile Bay to guard against the threat of oil landfall.Jim Moudy, owner of The Fairhope Salon and Spa in Fairhope AL, donated a space to utilize as a collection facility. This particular facility has received hundreds of boxes of donated clippings from almost all of the 50 states! In conjunction with this particular donation center, there is a workspace open 24 hours a day that’s setup for volunteers to make Boom. There are workstations setup and all of the supplies needed are supplied (panty hose & hair)! It’s all inside an evacuated bowling alley located at 247 South Greeno Rd in Fairhope, AL (directly behind Pizza Hut off of HWY 98). The facility is air-conditioned! Also, a previous volunteer has left a portable CD player that has “Boomers Boom-Box” written in permanent marker on it…so there’s music too! Booms made at this facility are available for anybody that wants to drop by and pick them up.Matter Of Trust is a nonprofit organization conceived in 1998 by husband and wife, Lisa and Patrice Gautier. Their mission is to link ideas, spark action and materialize sustainable systems. Early on, there were talks between MOT and BP about utilizing the “Natural Fiber Booms” to protect canals. However, BP eventually claimed that they had enough of their own BP synthetic boom. Matter Of Trust didn’t stop. Donations continued to arrive at several temporary warehouses that were set up to produce the Hair Booms. As a Salon Development Partner with Neill Corporation for Aveda, I’ve been involved with Gulf Restoration Network for the past 5 years in efforts to raise awareness & money for a healthy Gulf Of Mexico. Our partnership has never been more important. This past April, during Earth Month, over $400,000 was raised by Neill Corp and Aveda Salons in the Southeastern U.S. through Walks For Water and other fund-raising activities in support of clean water initiatives. The missions of Matter Of Trust, Gulf Restoration Network, Neill Corp, Aveda and I are in perfect alignment. Also, as a member of the salon industry, It’s been awarding to see hairstylists, salon owners and their staff members come together to take action through collecting hair clippings to donate for production of the Hair Booms. Lisa Gautier, President of Matter Of Trust, has said that over 45,000 businesses have donated enough hair, fur, fleece & feathers to cover more than 25 miles of property with Boom.Volunteers are needed. I’m encouraging friends, family and salon/spa teams to participate. Matter Of Trust doesn’t need anymore hair at this time. What’s needed now is the man/woman power to put the booms together. It’s a great team-building exercise for business owners to take their employees and produce booms for a couple of hours. It’s fun, rewarding and -most importantly – it’s taking action!Brent EvansSalon Development PartnerNeill Corporation & Aveda

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