With a Name Like "Honest Company" You Should Be
We've written in this space before about the unique challenges faced by a product when a celebrity endorser goes off the rails. Now, as Jessica Alba's Earth-friendly Honest Company is just about to launch in Target stores, there are new reports that some products imported by the company from China have been previously blocked by the FDA as unsafe.
Honest Company reportedly uses Chinese manufacturer American Hygienics as a supplier, and indeed, according to the Product Refusal Report, the FDA banned "cleansing products" beginning back in 2008-09 for using a "new animal drug which is unsafe." The Daily Mail reports that American Hygienics is indeed one of Honest Company's suppliers, though the banned products were not associated with or used by Honest Company. The Honest Company has previously defended its position on American Hygienics, as well as using other Chinese suppliers on the Honest Company's blog.
There's a little more celebrity smoke around this fire. Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle blog "Goop" last month cited that The Honest Company's All-Purpose Cleaner with a "C" grade and replaced it's recommendation with an "A" grade cleaner, based on advice given by the Environment Working Group. No matter whether you put more weight on the press accounts, the plausible denial from Honest Company, or the judgements from another Hollywood star, the takeaway for us in the promo products industry is a familiar one. As always, "trust, but verify" your suppliers.
Speaking of trust, you can put trust in the fact that you will certainly learn something from our live webinar coming up on June 17. Three industry principals, Brandon Mackay from SnugZ USA, Jon Levine from The Image Group, and SanMar's Jeremy Lott, will be sharing how product safety and corporate responsibility are woven into their everyday business practices. Moderated by Promo Marketing's Kyle Richardson, this promises to be a lively session with both interesting presentations, as well as plenty of time for Q&A. We hope you'll join us, and if you haven't signed up yet, here is the link to do so:
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.