Start-up Spotlight: Jessica Alba creates e-commerce brand Honest
Jessica Alba has been keeping busy with daughters Honor and Haven, and recently created a new labor of love: eco-friendly baby products line The Honest Co.
The e-commerce brand, which launched in January, offers two “bundle” options. Customers can choose between a monthly delivery of diapers for $79.95 or an assortment of household essentials such as shampoo, laundry detergent, dish soap, sunscreen and body lotion for $35.95.
At the company’s Santa Monica headquarters this week, Alba told The Times that she came up with the idea after becoming frustrated during her first pregnancy by the lack of safe, affordable and environmentally friendly baby products.
“I shopped online and I went to natural foods stores, and I just found that it was really expensive and really difficult to find the best products,” she said. “I realized in doing research that there’s lots of toxic chemicals in these everyday products and brands that you’re used to seeing. I never imagined that that was even possible, and I was shocked that it was even legal.”
The 30-year-old reached out to author Christopher Gavigan, who wrote “Healthy Child Healthy World,” and set out to create “one brand that’s completely non-toxic, that’s cute and affordable and convenient.” They launched the company with serial entrepreneur Brian Lee, founder of LegalZoom and online shoe membership club ShoeDazzle.
“It was really out of necessity. This brand doesn’t exist [anywhere else]; you can’t really shop around the problem,” Alba said.
Honest.com says its diapers are naturally biodegradable, chlorine-free, sustainable and made with plant-based materials. The products in the household essentials bundle are also non-toxic and made with organic ingredients. All of Honest’s products are made in the U.S. except the diapers, which are made in Mexico.
Like many subscription-based online retail companies, Honest.com asks new members to answer a few basic questions, such as age and weight of their child, as well as design and style preferences.
Parents can select which diaper patterns -- ice cream cones, flowers, stars, even skulls and crossbones –- to receive. Alba said she wanted to make sure the products were fashionable and cute, instead of the typical eco-friendly items that feature a green leaf or “are oatmeal-colored or brown.”
The company is funded by private investors, including Alba and Lee, as well as seed capital. They declined to say how much funding the company had received or how many members have signed up since the site’s launch.
Alba said there were no plans to sell Honest products in retail stores, adding that busy mothers like to receive products right on their doorstep. The company is working on new products to be released in the next few months, including pet shampoo, stain and odor removers, pull-ups and swim diapers.