It is a time of highs and lows for actress-turned-super entrepreneur Jessica Alba. Just recently, we reported that her baby and lifestyle brand, The Honest Company, has been valued at around $1.7 billion after its latest funding round raised $100 million. This was fairly staggering news, considering that the company is just three years old. Founded in 2011, the e-commerce company aims to sell non-toxic and eco-friendly products in the form of baby lotions, diapers, and soon beauty products.
The company’s rise to the top was greeted with much positivity until just recently when it began to suffer a setback or two. Their sunscreen products came under fire after users reported the product “ineffective,” forcing bosses to defend the line and reassure their loyal customer base that the product had been rigorously tested before release. “We’ve gone through extensive third-party testing in accordance with government regulations, and our Sunscreen Lotion passed all SPF 30 testing requirements,” they said in a statement via a blogpost.
Now Honest have been forced to come to the defence once more as People reports that the business has been slapped with a $5 million lawsuit, which claims it “deceptively and misleadingly” labels and markets its products as being “natural.”
According to reports, consumer Jonathan D. Rubin claims that some products contain “unnatural” and “synthetic” ingredients and also said that the Honest Sunscreen product is “ineffective.”
Rubin singled out a number of products, including Honest Hand Soap, Honest Diapers, and Honest Multi-Surface Cleaner, which he says, mislead customers.
Given that this is the first lawsuit of any kind we’ve seen in Honest’s three-year-run, we’re highly suspicious of these claims, especially as they have come so suddenly after the sunscreen incident.
Alba, the company founder and frontwoman, has vigorously denied all claims and has hit back, saying that they were “baseless and without merit”: “We strongly stand behind our products and the responsibility we have to our consumers. We are steadfast in our commitment to transparency and openness,” said Alba. “I know my children, Honor and Haven, are growing up in a safer home because of our products.”
She reiterated that extensive research had been done prior to the company set up. “Prior to launching The Honest Company, I began lobbying Congress to require that ingredients used in everyday products are tested for safety prior to entry into the marketplace,” she explained.
“I started this [The Honest Company] to develop safe and effective products not just for my children, but for families everywhere. I am very proud that we have built this company into an industry leader focused on using natural ingredients, and our formulations are made with integrity and strict standards of safety, and we label each ingredient that goes into every product – not because we have to, but because it’s the right thing to do,” she added in a statement.