When Jessica Alba isn’t making a movie or walking a red carpet, the Hollywood star is in the office every day, just like most of us. The mother of two has made it her goal to offer people a safer and healthier lifestyle with The Honest Company.
The company, also founded in 2012 by Christopher Gavigan and based in California, provides customers with a variety of products including diapers, cleaning products and shampoos that are nontoxic and affordable. It's sold online and in five retail chains – Nordstrom, Target, Whole Foods, Costco and Buy Buy Baby.
"We're not a luxury or fashion brand," Alba said during an appearance at Advertising Week in New York City on Monday. "We make products that families bring into their homes, and it's really built around safety and trust."
Alba’s decision to start the company stems from a frightening allergic reaction she experienced from a popular laundry detergent during her first pregnancy with her daughter Honor. The scary moment encouraged her to find products that were safe and trustworthy.
“Weirdly, this moment of awakening happens when you’re pregnant,” Alba said. “All of a sudden I was responsible for a little person growing inside of me and I was like ‘Oh dear, how am I going to keep this person alive?’”
The 33-year-old later met Gavigan at the launch of his book “Healthy Child, Healthy World” in 2009 and said she “stalked him” until he agreed to work with her to start the company. Two years since its launch, Honest ships thousands of packages a day and is worth nearly $1 billion.
Alba, who welcomed her second daugther Haven in 2011, also expressed her belief that certain disorders in children are on the rise because of the toxic chemicals they are exposed to. For example, ADHD jumped from 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s not one thing that’s leading to all of these illnesses and sicknesses, it’s a bunch of things,” she said. “And, if we can try and eliminate as much of that toxic chemical exposure as possible, we are going to try and do that.”
While Alba said she enjoys acting, she expressed a true fervor for her work with The Honest Company. The Sin City star said she pays attention to testimonials and sometimes even provides customer service over the phone without revealing her identity.
"I’m passionate,” she said. “It’s making the world a better place.”