Snake oil. Miracle diet pills. The cure for cancer. Knockoff “Coach” purses. Imitation Nike shoes. Foakley’s (fake Oakley’s).
For thousands of years, buyers have had to use caution when making purchases. In fact, the phrase “caveat emptor”, meaning “buyer beware” in Latin, has long served as a warning for potential buyers.
Why is caution necessary?
Because there are a lot of seriously sleazeball sellers out there. A lot of people trying to make a buck at someone else’s expense. A lot of people who are willing to sell anything, consequences be damned.
And Internet sales don’t make things any easier. Anyone can slap together a website and sell an all-in-one pill that increases sex drive, cures the common cold, creates peace in the Middle East, and melts the fat away.
It’s hard to know who to trust.
Jessica Alba (from “Entourage” and “The Fantastic Four”) and Christopher Gavigan are dead set on creating a trustworthy company.
In fact, their company is called “The Honest Company”.
The Honest Company is on a mission to create honest, safe, beautiful, sustainable products. For example, their “Honest Diapers” are made with plant-based inner and outer layers, a core made with pulp from sustainably managed forests, and no fragrances, lotions, or latexes. Their organic shave oil is made from ultra-concentrated organic oils. Their deodorants are made from a blend of essential oils.
Every products comes with at least one of the following:
- Honestly Free Guarantee, which specifies the harmful chemicals left OUT of the product.
- Honest To Goodness pledge, spelling out how the purchase benefits someone in need.
- Awards and Certifications, listing the various awards and certifications won and earned by the product.
In a day of dirty liars and cheats (to quote Taylor Swift), it’s refreshing to have a company that actually seems to care about its products and customers. And if the reviews are any indication, people are seriously in love with The Honest Company.
But it’s not all unicorns and Kenny G songs for The Honest Company. Recently, the company was slapped with a $5 million dollar lawsuit by Jonathan Rubin, who claims that some Honest products contain “unnatural” and “synthetic” ingredients, and that the sunscreen is ineffective. Additionally, some customers lashed out on social media, sharing photographs of sunburns they received while allegedly wearing Honest sunscreen.
To their credit, Jessica and Christopher did respond to the social media frenzy on the Honest blog, but it remains to be seen whether issues like this will continue to arise.
In spite of the criticism, The Honest Company is massively popular, recently being valued at $1.7 billion dollars. There is obviously a massive market for eco-friendly, consumer-safe products.
When someone advertises a “miracle product”, we immediately become suspicious. We suspect a scam or a fake. We just know that someone is trying to pull the wool over us.
Maybe that’s why Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan are so successful.
They’re just trying to be honest.
Stephen Altrogge is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee, Florida. He writes about tech, marketing, faith, and lots of other things. He’s married to Jen and has three young girls. Every day he consumes more coffee than the entire population of Colombia. He knows more about Star Wars than any respectable man should, and he runs more than any sane man would. He once attempted to eat a 2 pound hamburger in under an hour. He failed.
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