Since it was founded in 2011, The Honest Company has grown from 17 products sold only online to more than 100 products sold online and at more than 32,000 retail locations in America, according to the company’s website and Influenster. Actress Jessica Alba founded the company after the birth of her first daughter, Honor. Alba, who spent much of her childhood battling allergies, chronic asthma, and pneumonia, told Forbes she did not want her daughter exposed to harsh chemicals in baby products, especially after she herself experienced rashes after handling baby detergent while pregnant. “I was like, ‘How can this be safe for babies if I’m having this type of reaction?'” she said.
Alba partnered with entrepreneurs Brian Lee and Sean Kane and researcher Christopher Gavigan to launch The Honest Company, featuring products that eliminated potentially harmful chemicals from their production, according to Vanity Fair. The company received a $1 billion valuation in 2015, but some felt the company’s mission and products were too good to be true, according to Jilt.
The Honest Company fell under scrutiny in 2017
While The Honest Company has always promoted itself as a safe, eco-friendly, and all-natural producer of household goods, primarily baby and beauty care items, it began experiencing problems in 2015 when it attempted to expand outside of its core products, according to The Wall Street Journal. In 2017, the company experienced voluntary recalls of its baby powder and baby wipes, reformulated some products after The Wall Street Journal reported on the company’s ingredient-labeling issue, and faced class-action lawsuits concerning product ingredients and claims. Some subscribers of the company’s diaper delivery service also complained about problems canceling deliveries, prompting the company to invest in a new online ordering system (per Inc.).
The Honest Company began to rebound after returning its focus to its core products and bringing production in-house, giving Alba and other company leaders complete oversight on the manufacture of products, according to Jilt. It also slimmed down its product line to its best selling items. Forbes also reported that a judge dismissed the lawsuit against the company, agreeing that its products had been labeled organic by a USDA accredited certifying agent, meeting federal standards.
Now, the company seems determined to stick to its mission as described on its website as “a wellness brand empowering people to live happy, healthy lives” (via The Honest Company). Its website claims to avoid more than 2,500 potentially harmful chemicals in its products (via The Honest Company).
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