The #CleanSwapChallenge

Just to give a quick recap, in the last week I’ve committed to eliminating these harmful fabrics from my wardrobe and using (only) clean beauty products going forward. Of course these are only a few of the ways I’m working towards a greener, cleaner, more sustainable lifestyle. This isn’t something that happened overnight, rather a combination of personal decisions and changes I’ve made over several years. One of the things that really struck me over this past week is the response from many of you. This is a shortened version of a message I received:

“I recently started following you and read your post on fabrics…I thought ok this is good but seems impossible because I don’t want to say no to items if I really love them…the next day I bought a pair of pants that fit me beautifully. I brought them home and looked at the tag for washing instructions when I found they were 100% rayon. I decided to take them back and get something else…Your blog had an effect on me and I didn’t even think it would…Please keep writing this stuff. I want to make a difference.”

To be honest I didn’t know if sharing the changes I was making would matter to anyone. Knowing it has influenced some of you to think differently about your choices is a reward I was not anticipating. It has also given me greater motivation. As I said last week when I first decided to do this, it’s not about shaming or making anyone feel bad, it’s about trying to arm everyone with knowledge to make more informed decisions. Which leads me to the point of this post, creating a challenge we can all do together. I’m kicking off the #cleanswapchallenge. One of the best things to come from sharing the changes I’ve made is hearing how it’s influenced you to make changes too. I want to keep the momentum going and encourage all of you to share when you make clean swaps. Anytime you make a clean swap (more on those below) tag me @jessannkirby and use the #cleanswapchallenge. Let’s see how many swaps we can make! I will re-share your swaps and they will all be saved in a highlight on my Instagram profileI want to make this fun too so expect giveaways and exclusive brand discounts as we go.

I’ve rounded up some ideas on how to make clean swaps below, but this is just a start. There are so many things you can do to reduce your impact, help our planet, and eliminate more toxins from your life. I have a lot more to share on this topic going forward. If you have questions or ideas, please share in the comments, we are in this together.

Green/Clean Swaps


Regular bar soap :: Swap it for Follain bar soap or Ursa Major body soap
Skincare routine :: Swap it for clean beauty products (my favorites here, for more see Follain -15% off with this link, Credo Beauty, Ursa Major)
Makeup :: Swap it for clean makeup (my favorites here, for more see Follain and Credo Beauty)
Sunscreen :: Swap it for non-toxic reef-safe sunscreen (more from Badger and Bare Republic)
Cotton pads :: Swap it for reusable organic cotton pads
Regular deodorant :: Swap it for natural deodorant, I like Native, Kopari (how to detox your armpits)
Body lotion :: Swap it for a clean brand, I like Ursa Major, Osea, Seaweed Bath Co


Synthetic fabrics :: Swap it for natural, recycled and upcycled fabrics (See more on harmful fabrics here)
Swimwear :: Swap it for eco-friendly brands (Vitamin A, Mara Hoffman, Prana, Reformation, Summersalt)


Chemical household cleaning products :: Swap it for non-toxic cleaning products (see also DIY green cleaning products)
Plastic bags :: Swap for stasher bags
Plastic/paper shopping bags: Swap it for reusable totes (I save the ones that come with clothing purchases, also like baggu)
Plastic wrap :: Swap it for beeswax wrap
Plastic straws :: Swap it for glass straws
Plastic water bottles :: Swap it for reusable water bottle (I love the LARQ or Klean Kanteen)
Cotton/polyester bedding :: Swap it for organic cotton or linen bedding (see my favorite linen bedding here)
Regular laundry detergent :: Swap it for biodegradable detergent and use a guppyfriend for washing synthetic fabrics
Regular light bulbs :: Swap it LED bulbs


Bike/walk instead of drive or share a ride
Grow a garden
Compost & Recycle
Shop at the Farmer’s Market
Conserve energy (turn things off when not using them, unplug from outlets)
Eat less meat
Go paperless (subscribe to electronic billing and invoicing and get off junk mail lists)
Solar panels

There are eight months left of 2019. Let’s see how many clean swaps we can make this year. Share your swaps with #cleanswapchallenge and tag me on Instagram!

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  1. Catie wrote:

    I’m in! Can’t wait to slowly swap and make a difference!

    5.6.19 | Reply
  2. Rachelle wrote:

    This is such a great initiative and thank you for sharing these sustainable brands.


    5.6.19 | Reply
  3. Tiphaine wrote:

    Amazing post ! I’m in awe of your courage and determination in this venture. We’ve been careful to be as clean as possible in terms of house products, waste, and overall ways of living but for me clothes is the one area where I find it hard to be completely clean. But you are definitely an inspiration ! With this I’ve been meaning to ask, and it might be too personal a question, but considering this (might) affect your job and income, how hard a decision was it to make to go forward with this ? Either way I’m grateful for your honesty and all the information you painstakingly gathered.

    5.6.19 | Reply
  4. Kate wrote:

    I’m so excited! I can’t wait to share all my clean swaps & see how you inspire others!!

    5.6.19 | Reply
  5. I am so in. We got solar panels on our garage this year and have two compost bins we’ve already filled and are excited to use for the garden (we keep a countertop bin in the kitchen and dump its contents into the bins outside when it fills up!) For anyone local, we got our bins at a discount at the RI Resource Recovery center in Johnston. Their price on compost bins was one of the lowest we found and we liked that we could go pick them up versus have them shipped. We also live right on the bay and use products in our yard and house that are non toxic. I’m still anxious all the time about climate change and our human impact on the planet but it helps to do what we can to lessen the negative impact. Thank you for this challenge, Jess! You’re making a big difference.

    5.6.19 | Reply
  6. Mariah wrote:

    I LOVE this!! It’s so important to encourage sustainable and green living, I’m IN! #cleanswapchallenge

    5.6.19 | Reply
  7. Lindsay wrote:

    Thank you for using your platform to share the information and swaps! I’m excited to see the domino effect it will have within the industry. I’ve been taking the swap one step further and eliminating (to the best of my ability) buying any products that are housed in plastic containers and allocating that money to products without packaging or are in glass bottles. Sadly, it cuts out some of my favorite clean beauty products, but I’m learning to adapt or I apply the 80/20 rule. Keep it up! As Kristin commented, you are making a big difference!

    5.6.19 | Reply
  8. Julianna wrote:

    You are such a refreshing voice in a sea of bloggers that seem to all be promoting the same endless consumerism. I struggle because even the ones that are saying they are mindful of the environment, don’t echo that in their actions online. Thank you for being such a great example to so many!

    5.6.19 | Reply
  9. Jen M wrote:

    Totally in. We have been gradually swapping items out for a year now and eliminating the items we don’t really need in our lives. Such a great idea to share and inspire ideas for others.

    5.6.19 | Reply
  10. Shauna K wrote:

    Sooooo in! Love this idea and getting ideas from the community you’ve built here.

    5.6.19 | Reply
  11. Lauren wrote:

    I love that you’re doing this! I’m totally joining the movement. I would suggest making the lighting switch the LEDs rather than CFLs, as they consume less energy than CFLs. In CA, LEDs have pretty much replaced CFLs in all situations and are now required by code.

    5.6.19 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      OMG yes you are so right, thank you I am going to change the post right now.

      5.6.19 | Reply
  12. Dominique wrote:

    Thank you so much for the past few posts. I’ve always enjoyed your content, but at this critical juncture in the history of our planet am so happy to see you head in this direction. I know I could do so much better, but it can be so overwhelming. I just bought a guppyfriendbag thanks to you and am going to do my best to be more mindful about what I buy and my own impact. Thanks again!

    5.6.19 | Reply
  13. Jen Baker wrote:

    I’m in!!!

    5.6.19 | Reply
  14. Meaghan wrote:

    Hi Jess, love this post. I saw on your instagram story the other day that you had a HUGE spider in your house. Do you have any clean/non-toxic household bug spray? I have a spider issue and really don’t want to use toxic sprays in the house. Thanks!

    6.20.19 | Reply

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