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“They don’t call the company PERFECT. They call it HONEST.”

March 19, 2016


The Honest Company
2700 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 1200
Santa Monica, CA 90404

RE:   “They don’t call the company PERFECT.  They call it HONEST.”

Dear Jessica Alba,

I have been watching with interest the Wall Street Journal report about your Honest Company laundry detergent, and your company’s response.  

Your company has distinguished itself in the marketplace, grown exponentially, and won the trust and loyalty of untold customers by:

  • Positioning The Honest Company front and center as being “Honest” 
  • Publishing an ingredient list on your web site that you “guarantee” all your products are “Honestly Made Without”
  • Claiming to be “Uber-vigilant to the latest science” 
  • Stating that the company is all about “clear, credible, transparent information. No smoke and mirrors, No confusion.”  

It is logical to expect that any company claiming all of these things would be subject to scrutiny.  And given your positioning, you should welcome scrutiny, especially from as respected and legitimate a publication as The Wall Street Journal.

Thus I was disappointed to read your vapid March 11 “A Memo From Our Founder” responding to the WSJ article (, followed by voluminous comments from your loyal followers trying to rationalize why they still want to love you and believe in you.

Perhaps instead of blaming the WSJ for catching you in a slip-up, you should be thanking them.  When it comes to keeping our families’ safe from toxic chemicals, we can’t be too careful, right?  

Think of all the mistakes and oversights that people and companies have been publicly forgiven for over the years.  As one astute blog commenter said, “They don’t call the company PERFECT.  They call it HONEST.”   Your customers are forgiving you already.  

Just own the mistake; fix it; and move on.  That’s what The Honest Company would do.

Robin Whitney
Park City, UT
Never underestimate the difference you can make.