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Jessica Alba's Honest Co. Accused of Dishonesty in Lawsuit

Staff writer. Frequently covers franchise news and food trends.
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As it turns out, Honest Co. may not be all that truthful.

Co-founded by actress and model Jessica Alba, the online shopping company has been accused in a lawsuit of overcharging and falsely labeling dozens of products deemed natural or chemical-free.  

Related: Jessica Alba's Honest Company Is Reportedly a $1.7 Billion Company Now

Brad and Manon Buonasera filed the complaint Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan after purchasing shampoo and bodywash in Harlem. The complaint takes aim at 41 pieces of merchandise including cleaners, toothpaste and detergent. It alleges that products with labels including “natural,” “naturally derived” and “plant-based” actually contain “a spectacular array of synthetic and toxic ingredients,” such as henoxyethanol and methylisothiazolinone.

“Honest’s products are a chemical soup,” the complaint alleges.

If the complaint were to hold up in court, it could mean damages could reach more than $5 million. The number could increase if New York residents and previous Honest customers get in on the action.

In response, the online store’s already changed or discontinued some of the products, according to Reuters.

"The Honest Company takes its responsibility to our consumers seriously and strongly stands behind our products,” the company said in a statement. “These allegations are without merit and we will vigorously defend this baseless lawsuit."

It’s not the first time Alba and Honest Co. has dealt with legal woes. Trouble started last year after a complaint was filed in California regarding its sunscreen as the company vowed to “do what it takes to make it right.” That case is still pending.

"The allegations against us are baseless and without merit. We strongly stand behind our products and the responsibility we have to our consumers," Alba told CNNMoney. "I am very proud that we have built this company into an industry leader focused on using natural ingredients and developing products that people love.”

Earlier this year, Honest raised $100 million in a funding round and has worked with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on a possible initial public offering.

Related: Why Women Are the Best Opportunity for Businesses

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