Yesterday we found out that Jessica Alba's little side project, "The Honest Company," just finished another round of investing, adding $70 million to its bank account, and with it, pushing the worth of Honest to an honest ONE BILLION DOLLARS.
So last night, doing what everyone should have been doing, but weren't so I did, I went on the website -- to peruse over-priced infant shit -- with my 85-year-old grandmother.
Now... you might be asking yourself, "Obviously, I know Jessica Alba, but what in holy hell is this Honest thing?" And you'd be right to ask yourself that. I wasn't a hundred percent sure Jessica Alba was still walking the earth. We hadn't heard from her in a while so sometimes you just wonder. That last time I saw her was in the 2012 smash, Bananapocalypse.
But I sat there, with the T.V. volume on 57 ( I was with my grandmother), and started shopping for the kid that I never want to have. I never felt like more of a loser, by the way. The distinct smell of chihuahua-piss soaked pee pads and 20-year-old dried flowers began wafting through my olfaction receptors and within, I'd say four minutes, had to take a dual dose of Advil.
The website is as pretentious as you'd come to expect from a Hollywood elite. It has its own level of snarky sophistication that has followed in the footsteps of dear Gwyneth's "goop" and Blake Lively's "Preserve." It's all in a name. "Honest." "Preserve." The names themselves are meant to evoke some fake level of trust, or hope or vapid amnesia spell meant to trick us for a moment that, yes, I can buy a wood pendant with tin wire for $87.00.
But The Honest Co. has somewhat reasonable prices. I say somewhat because although this zebra toy is $35.00, it's made in the good ole' U.S.A. So you're contributing to keeping this economy moving forward and by keeping jobs where they belong!
Michael Pollan, famed author, UC Berkeley School of Journalism and food movement extraordinaire, believes food should be food -- something instantly recognizable as food, and only eat food that your great-grandmother would recognize. For example, you're walking down the isle and say, "Nonni, do you want a portable yogurt strip?" Nonni won't know what the fuck you're talking about. I used this same direction when visiting the Honest Co. with my grandmother.
One of the most expensive and important items that new parents tend to hunt and gather, like our ancestors once did with meat and berries, are diapers. So that was the first item that I wanted to check out, which are "premium" and "eco-friendly." Yay... Diapers to a baby company is like pad thai to a thai restaurant. It's the base. The one and only thing you need to be able to get right. And Ms. Alba does. The price seems to be decent. Initially, I couldn't find a diaper count on the purchase, so I thought the price of $13.95 was for just one and therefore beyond outrageous. My grandmother felt the same way.
(Note: After the fact, I found a picture of the packaging of these diapers and it appears to include 44 diapers. Ms. Alba. You should really put a count of how many diapers are included on the actual website.)
Baby powder. We know it. But only really use it when we get out of the shower and notice that we forgot to bring in a towel with us. We all have the same 6 year old bottle in the cabinet. There's nothing special about baby powder and therefore should just be called powder.
The Honest Co.'s baby powder is special, however. It offers the consumer a blend of organic aloe vera and yogurt extract. Mmmmmmm... HOW DID I LIVE WITHOUT YOGURT IN MY BABY POWDER?
But men often use baby powder in private regions, so I don't want dairy in that area, thank you very much.
On baby powder:
Finally, I looked at bottom wash. I suppose this product would be superior to just plain water but then I have no idea, and that would be an assumption. It's plant-based, biodegradable and vegan, (thank you God) so that's good?
"Bottom wash" is probably a cleaned-up phrase for washing your baby's ass after an exploding diarrhea episode, as described in the description.
- Great for extra daunting diaper duty, too!
YES! I KNEW IT!
On bottom wash:
Just above the ingredients of all of these items are cute little pictures of rabbits and silhouettes of clouds, boasting the product's awards and certifications. Everything that I saw on honest.com has organic ingredients, like organic diol, organic arrowroot powder, organic clary sage oil, you know, SHIT NOBODY HAS EVERY HEARD OF. But it's organic, so it must be good.
What you'll also find is a lot of Latin. Maranta Arundinacea. Salvia Sclarea. Simmondsia Chinensis. Helianthus Annuus and Zea Mays to name a few. The latter two, by the way, are sunflower oil and corn starch. So we're really listing corn starch now as Zea mays?
I wanted to know if there was a reason why companies include Latin in their ingredients. And low and behold, there is. According to the INCI (for those playing at home, the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients),
"The purpose of the system is to overcome country and language barriers. That is why all INCI-lists use Latin, botanical names. The system has some practical benefits. Say you are allergic to an ingredient: your doctor can tell you the official INCI name, making it easier for you to avoid it."
Well, good to know because I thought people were using Latin to make themselves sound smarter.
After turning off the recorder, my grandmother uttered this:
"The heck does she know about baby stuff?"
Well she has two kids, Gram.
Chris Peak is a freelance writer and musician from Boston. Follow him @chrishpeak where he tweets about social annoyances and random awkwardness.
[Image credit: inhabitots.com and honest.com]