Consumers have filed a putative class action lawsuit against The Honest Co. purporting to represent the “hundreds of thousands of consumers throughout the United States” who have purchased Honest products and assert that at least 41 of the company’s products are labeled “natural” despite containing synthetic ingredients and chemicals. Buonasera v. Honest Co., No. 16-1125 (S.D.N.Y., filed February 12, 2016). The plaintiffs further allege that certain ingredients in the products are toxic and pose health and environmental risks. In particular, plaintiffs allege that The Honest Co. admits to using phenoxyethanol in some of its products, which plaintiffs contend is a synthetic neurotoxin.
The plaintiffs’ complaint alleges violations of New York business law, breach of express warranty and unjust enrichment. The Honest Co.— known for its famous founder, actress Jessica Alba, and the company’s stated mission to make safe, natural products available to average consumers—responded to requests for comment by denying plaintiffs’ claims and stating that it stands behind its products.