By Candice Marie Litchfield
A married mother of two, famous actress and one of the most beautiful women in the world, Jessica Alba can also add “businesswoman” to her resume. Hoping to move off the red carpet and into your home, she’s passionate about keeping toxins out of schools, homes, and work spaces, and is doing everything in her power to make homes chemical free.
She really started to become an eco-activist after the birth of her first daughter, Honor, but Alba has been a strong advocate to children’s health for years. She may be known to most people as the “Dark Angel,” but to most greenies, she is most noted for her efforts to support the Safe Chemicals Act legislation that restricts what chemicals are allowed in consumer products. Alba recently announced that she will put her star power behind another green effort — to “change the world — one diaper at a time,” with the launch of her new eco-friendly baby product line and website: The Honest Company.
“When I was pregnant three-and-a-half years ago with my daughter, Honor, I started researching how to have a safe home. I was shocked to learn how many dangerous chemicals were in the products I used, including many I had assumed were safe,” says Alba.
Alba says one of the main things that prompted her into activism was a laundry detergent that was made specifically for babies that caused her to sneeze and break out in a rash. She says of the detergent, “If it had that effect on me, I didn’t want to use it anywhere near my infant daughter. There are many studies that suggest a link between chemicals found in many of the everyday products we use and diseases including cancer, asthma and ADHD.”
In her press release for The Honest Company, Braun ambassador Alba stated: “I’ve spent way too many hours researching products and driving around trying to find safer, eco-friendly options for my kids. I knew that most people didn’t have that kind of time, nor the means to pay the premium prices. We had to make it easier.” The Honest Company offers an eco-friendly line of family essentials, including nappies, detergents and household cleaners, all through a monthly subscription service. The company’s founders —Alba, along with Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee and Sean Kane — say they are committed to making safe, sustainable products more convenient, beautiful and affordable.
“I would buy what I thought was like an eco-brand and pay out the wazoo for it and then find out that it’s made with the same ingredients as any other brand, but the packaging is a little more biodegradable and you’re like `But I care about the product touching my kid. Is that OK?” the actress states.
She decided the best solution was to sell the kinds of products she would buy, at a reasonable price, but she does understand why green products are usually a little more costly: ‘”Most eco-friendly companies don’t have a high volume, so they can cost 3 to 4 times as much as what we’re offering. We aren’t going to be the cheapest, but we’re certainly not the most expensive.”
A portion of the proceeds will go to support Baby2Baby, a non-profit organisation that gives infant supplies to families in need. The 30-year-old actress said the venture is “hands down” more nerve-racking than the opening of a new movie, but also far more gratifying: “I came up with this idea. I had to pitch it to my partners and they came on board and together we created the company from scratch,” she said. “From the packaging to the bottles to the product that’s inside, the way that the interfacing is with the website, all of that is really from me … it’s taken three years to get here.”
Alba plans to expand the line based on customer feedback. “It’s important that a brand that’s meant for families actually listens to families, and it’s not just some big corporate entity making these huge decisions,” she said. Alba got political and recently worked to drum up support for the proposed Safe Chemicals Act–which would require products to be tested for chemicals before they are sold and would have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency test products already on the market. The federal legislation has been critiqued by the American Chemistry Council, which says the safety standards the measure proposes are “unachievable,” but Alba clearly thinks otherwise and is still fighting for the cause.
The “Fantastic Four” actress has really put her money where her mouth is when it comes to going green in her own home and we here at Eluxe laud Jessica Alba for trying to make it easier for the rest of us to do the same.
Main and image above: Braun