Update: Recent studies suggest that as of yet, there may be no such thing as truly “biodegradable glitter”. Read our recent article here to learn more (including eco-friendly alternatives to glitter).
We all love the little things that help to brighten up our days, and glitter is a great way to do so, especially in an environment where you are free to do so such as a festival.
Festival culture and glitter have grown even closer together in recent years and at many US festivals it is used for decoration everywhere, both on the body and elsewhere!
It’s easy not to think about the impact of glitter. It seems pretty harmless, right?
When you were using glitter in your arts and crafts as a kid, nobody was telling you that it could be damaging to the environment, wildlife and your health.
The problem with conventional glitter
While some poorly made glitter can be bad for your body and skin, the main problem is, in fact, that glitter is not good for the environment, especially in terms of our oceans.
These micro particles can take 400 years or more to break down naturally, releasing their harmful chemical substances as they disintegrate into ever smaller pieces.
Once they end up in our oceans, their effects on animals can even be fatal, with many different marine species being discovered with these microplastics in their system. They can be accidentally consumed to devastating effects.
Eventually, this will lead to human consumption via the food chain, with yet unknown consequences for our health:
Eco-friendly glitter alternatives
The world is starting to wake up to the very real need to use biodegradable products and plastic glitter is one that is very important due to its size and how common it is.
Fortunately, there’s no reason to stop the fun!
That being said, this does not mean that you can now be careless and litter the streets with your new eco-friendly glitter. Why not? Because in order to properly decompose, pretty much all biodegradable (and compostable) materials need certain environmental conditions – which are usually not present out in the open.
So while they are certainly less harmful than plastic, they will still take quite a while to decompose under these unfavorable conditions out in the open – potentially harming wildlife during that time.
So please do your best and take care not spread the glitter unnecessarily into our environment – even if it is technically environmentally friendly glitter.
What biodegradable glitter is made of
Glitter can be made just as well via better methods, which give us biodegradable products, avoiding any real threat to the environment or our oceans after use.
Most eco-friendly glitter brands use plant-based materials (like cellulose for example) instead of oil-based plastic. Additionally, they usually do not add any harmful chemicals.
Cosmetic glitter used at festivals can include makeup, body FX, used in your hair, temporary tattoos, decorating clothes and much, much more.
In this article, we’ve compiled some of the best glitter types that can leave you completely guilt-free once the festival is over.
Electrik Glitter Biodegradable Body Glitter
We couldn’t make an article like this one and not mention this company.
Electrik Glitter has totally understood the need for great quality environmentally and body-friendly glitter for festivals and their product range proves this.
Instead of using harmful materials to make their glitter, Electrik uses the cellulose found in the eucalyptus tree.
From this, they have been able to create a range of six different colors including pinks, blues, and silvers that look great to give your festival look that extra bit of sparkle.
As a company founded with the eco-friendly ethos right at their heart, Electrik Glitter even donates a portion of all of its sales to ocean conservation charities, in an effort to undo the negative effects left by some of the companies making glitter that doesn’t quickly or easily biodegrade.
On top of all this, the products are naturally sourced meaning it is better for all round. In fact, the company’s studies have shown it to be 30–40% better for your skin.
All in all, this is a top eco-friendly alternative for festival-goers everywhere!
Minke Biodegradable Glitter
Minke is another brand doing some brilliant things in this space. Their cosmetic glitter is biodegradable and designed for use not just at festivals and for makeup but also for craft use.
The company’s products are often sold as a multi-pack, which have four tones including magenta, black, silver, and gold for some of the classic festival looks people crave.
The company says that this is totally safe for any type of application but it is recommended that you apply it with aloe vera gel when putting it on your skin. Aloe vera is great for your body and, combined with Minke glitter, it ensures there will be no skin irritation.
Bio-Glitter by Nurture Soap
Why are we recommending soap glitter?
Well, don’t let the name fool you. Just because this is marketed as soap glitter, this is simply because a popular use is for putting this into bath bombs.
However, this glitter isn’t made just for bath bombs and can be used for makeup too and other uses.
As it is suitable for use in cosmetic products, you can rest assured that it won’t be harmful to your skin or any part of your body once applied.
This glitter is made from a thin film which is totally compostable. The film is made from elements which are sustainable, too, so you can rest assured no negative environmental impacts come from this purchase.
As well as of these great considerations for the environment, it is a wonderful glitter too!
Available in over ten colors and sold either as individual colors or as a multi-pack. If you’re going all-out, you can even buy this in massive 1kg packages!
While they are still a pretty small brand, Glitter Evolution has a real specialty in the world of biodegradable glitter.
The company’s colors are probably the most amazing out of any of the glitter brands we’ve mentioned on the list and they have some amazing blends for a quick and effective application.
The glitter is vegan-friendly, totally compostable, and is 100% guilt-free for festival-goers to use as much as they please!
You can even save money by purchasing them as a set, which is also a good way to pick up a few colors of festival glitter or glitter gel that you know are going to compliment one another.
Glitter Evolution’s products are a little on the expensive side but their quality and amazing colors make up for this.
We expect to see more and more festival glitter and glitter gel brands converting to biodegradable and becoming an eco-friendly alternative.
The fact is that there has been a lot of damage done to our environment in recent years and luxury products like glitter have contributed.
However, you can now be totally environmentally friendly by purchasing one of these brands and even opt for one which contributes a portion of your money to marine conservation efforts.
Make sure your makeup, hair, nails, and even clothes are all sparkling at your next festival—and enjoy being guilt-free, not glitter-free!