The Honest Company co-founded by Jessica Alba grew to prominence on a platform of providing all natural and non-toxic products. They aim to “reduce the ubiquitous presence of toxic chemicals in our…environment.” But a recent lawsuit claims they’re lying to consumers about the ingredients in 41 of their products.
After purchasing Honest Company Conditioning Detangler and Shampoo & Bodywash at a Harlem Costco, plaintiffs Brad and Manon Buonasera said the products contained “a spectacular array of synthetic and toxic ingredients, including toxins phenoxyethanol and methylisothiazolinone.” It is unclear how they tested the products to determine these ingredients were present.
The plaintiffs said they reached out to the company with their complaints last September. When Honest didn’t change their advertising, they sued. They are not claiming the products injured them, but that they didn’t receive what they paid for: a natural, effective product.
The 41 products listed on the lawsuit include floor cleaners, laundry detergent, children’s toothpaste, and bubble bath.
The Honest Company’s packaging claims products are never made with harsh chemicals. Both products purchased by the Buonaseras come with an “Honestly Free Guarantee,” which says the products are “made without parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, formaldehyde, or most common allergens.” They also come with an “Honest to Goodness” promise, which means the company donates to youth education and health organizations such as Girls Who Code and Food Corps.
In a statement regarding the lawsuit, the Honest Company said, “The Honest Company takes its responsibility to our consumers seriously and strongly stands behind our products. These allegations are without merit and we will vigorously defend this baseless lawsuit. Our formulations are made with integrity and we remain steadfast in our commitment to transparency.”
This is the second lawsuit filed recently against Alba’s company. A comparable case, filed last September, said the brand’s advertising was misleading and that the products didn’t work as promised.
The lawsuit could impinge upon Honest Company’s current efforts to introduce an initial public offering. They have been working with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, and last August raised $100 million in funding.