Green is Jessica Alba’s favorite color, and it’s not just because she loves wearing it on the red carpet. She is a lover of all things eco-friendly: She’s scoped out the least-toxic paints, furnishings, and bedding for her family of four, and multiple recycling bins are a staple in her house. Earth Day is right around the corner, so we sat down with this Hollywood mama to get the inside scoop on her new company, her favorite kids’ products, and how you can encourage your children to protect the planet.
We are so inspired by your mission to offer eco-friendly products. Was there a specific moment when you knew you had to start The Honest Company?
When I was pregnant with Honor, I read the book, “Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home” by Christopher Gavigan. I learned about toxic chemicals in everyday products like baby shampoo, diapers, home furnishings, and household cleaners. I was shocked and upset, so I spent hours researching products and trying to shop around the problem — even shopping in Europe, Canada, and Australia. I’d shell out way more money for the products in brown packaging with pictures of nature, only to find out that they still had ingredients in them I was trying to avoid. And the few products that were really safer never seemed to work as well as I needed — effectiveness and performance are important to moms! So I created Honest.com because I needed and wanted natural products that were better than the ones out there. Turns out, a lot of other parents did, too.
Can you tell us about THC, and what the company’s mission is?
We launched The Honest Company in January 2012 — it’s an eco-friendly line of family essentials (diapers and wipes, bath and body care, and household cleaners) that are exclusively available through a monthly subscription service at Honest.com. I love all of the products — the shampoo/body wash is truly tearless without any numbing agent, the detangler actually detangles and smells delicious, and the diapers are the best disposables on the market hands down! When Honor was still in diapers, I’d layer two on top of each other trying to prevent overnight leaks. With the Honest diaper, we all sleep better!
How do you think THC will influence your daughters as they grow up?
Every decision I’ve made for my family has their health and happiness in mind — from the food I purchase to cleaning products to personal care products. I’ve also sought out the most sustainable, least-toxic options for our furnishings, paint, flooring, cabinets, and bedding. My children really don’t know any different than what they’re growing up with, including our non-toxic turf lawn, multiple recycling bins, and DIY décor for their bedrooms. Hopefully growing up in this environment will influence their decision-making and encourage them to be more thoughtful and creative when they become consumers.
Where do you see THC in five years?
We plan on continually expanding the product line to become a one-stop shop that families can really trust. For example, we would love to get into feeding products, gear and clothing, bedding and decor. It would be amazing to do all of that! I actually have lots of silhouettes and designs for clothing, bath products, and bedding. It’s just a matter of when it makes sense to roll out each phase.
What are your favorite eco-friendly toys or apparel for kids?
My favorite pajamas for babies are from Babysoy, which has a whole collection of newborn clothes made from natural azlon soybean fiber. The Oh Soy Footies are the warmest, softest and coziest pajamas! I also love the Cloud b Sleep Sheep — it’s soothing sounds are great for helping Haven sleep while we’re traveling. And sometimes simplicity rules: Ouef and Imps & Elfs makes the perfect organic cotton everyday staples.
Besides buying eco-friendly products, what are three things moms can do to teach their children Earth-friendly habits?
1. Take your shoes off before entering the house so you’ll leave lead dust and pesticides outside.
2. Drink filtered water from your faucet or refrigerator instead of buying disposable plastic bottles.
3. Avoid high fructose corn syrup and eat a diet that is mostly fresh and organic instead of highly processed and over-packaged foods.
What kind of choices do you make when it comes to food for you and your family?
I seek out mostly organic foods, and as a family we try to have a balanced diet that focuses on vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. I make sure to read the ingredients carefully and try to give Haven homemade, pureed food as much as possible. I give Honor flavored sparkling water instead of sugary drinks and she thinks it’s soda!
You are on a mission to protect the Earth, are starring in hit movies, and are raising two daughters all while looking fabulous! How do you do it?
I just live my life the best I can and I compromise on one thing or another. I often wish there were at least two of me and 36 hours in the day! My children’s happiness is my priority, so as long as they’re good everything else just sort of works out. I have lots of lists, schedules, and labels to keep some sanity and organization. And I have a really quick but effective make-up routine: great concealer, cream blush, and mascara. It takes 10 minutes, and I look like I’ve had a good night sleep.