The brand prides itself on selling non-toxic household and beauty products. But The Honest Company, which is part-owned by the actress Jessica Alba, has somewhat ironically been accused of being dishonest. An angry customer is said to be suing the company for falsely advertising "natural" products, which they also claim are actually ineffective. The lawsuit comes just weeks after the company was estimated to be worth a staggering $1.7bn ($1bn).
TMZ reports that Jonathan Rubin has filed a class action lawsuit against the US-based company on behalf of himself and numerous other customers, specifically targeting a range of products including hand and dish soaps, nappies and surface cleaners. In the lawsuit, Rubin allegedly claims that the mentioned products contain synthetic chemicals, and therefore should not be considered and sold as "natural", as THC states on the labels.
According to the website, Rubin has backed up his allegations by contacting an environmental group, who are said to agree that the products used are potentially hazardous. Rubin also claims that THC's sunscreen is ineffective, while other customers have reportedly complained of suffering sunburn and blisters after using the products.
In August 2015, Alba and her co-founder Christopher Gavigan released a statement admitting that their sunscreen product did not live up to the expectations of customers, many of whom had stated it did not last for the length of time advertised. In a joint blog post, Alba and Gavigan said: "Protecting our loved ones and yours is the reason we founded The Honest Company. As parents, it pains us to hear that anyone has had a negative experience with our Sunscreen. We've gone through extensive third-party testing in accordance with government regulations and our Sunscreen Lotion passed all SPF 30 testing requirements. It also received the best score possible from the Environmental Working Group."
Watch Jessica Alba discuss her lifestyle for The Honest Company:
Website Law360.com reports that Rubin said when summing up his lawsuit: "Honest isn't." Rubin is reportedly asking that THC refunds every customer who purchased the specified products, which would total to an estimated minimum of $5m. In August 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that Alba now has an estimated personal fortune of $340m after THC received a major financial boost after securing new investors. Alba is reported to own a 15%-20% stake in the company.
The IBTimes UK has contacted Alba's representatives for comment and is awaiting a response.