The Wall Street Journal investigation, published on Thursday, claims that independent lab tests revealed that The Honest Company's detergent contained sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which the company explicitly claimed their product was free of.
In response to the allegations, The Honest Company, co-founded by Jessica Alba, released a statement to ET defending their detergent and denying the claims made in The Wall Street Journal report.
"Despite providing The Wall Street Journal with substantial evidence to the contrary, they falsely claimed our laundry detergent contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate," The Honest Company argued. "To set the record straight, we use Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) in our brand’s laundry detergent because it is a gentler alternative that is less irritating and safer to use. Rigorous testing and analysis both by our internal research and development teams as well as further testing by external partners have confirmed this fact."
The Wall Street Journal article addressed the company's claim of using SCS in their report. According to the publication, "More than a dozen scientists interviewed by the Journal said SCS, which is made from palm or coconut oil, is a mixture of various cleaning agents that includes a significant amount of SLS."
"We stand behind our laundry detergent and take very seriously the responsibility we have to our consumers to create safe and effective products," the statement added.
The Wall Street Journal's report never questioned the safety of The Honest Company's detergent or made any allegations that their products were ineffective.
The report, in part, explains that SLS is a common ingredient in detergents, as well as various other household products, sold by such companies as Proctor & Gamble and Clorox.
After commissioning two independent lab studies of The Honest Company's liquid laundry detergent, both labs reportedly concluded that The Honest Company's product contained "a significant amount" of SLS, on par with the amount found in Tide laundry detergent.
However, The Honest Company has long advertised that their products are completely free of the chemical in question.
The Wall Street Journal suggests that the discrepancy between The Honest Company's claims and the finds made by the independent lab tests could come from the company's supply chain.
The Honest Company, which reportedly doesn't make "most of its products," argues that their manufacturing partners have assured them that their products are SLS free, beyond possible trace amounts.
According to the report, The Honest Company gets its detergent from Earth Friendly Products LLC., who provided The Honest Company with a document that said the product contains no SLS. Earth Friendly Products LLC., told The Wall Street Journal that they received said document from their chemical supplier, Trichromatic West Inc.
According to article, "Trichromatic told the Journal the certificate wasn’t based on any testing and there was a 'misunderstanding' with the detergent maker. It said the 'SLS content' was listed as zero because it didn’t add any SLS to the material it provided to Earth Friendly and 'there would be no reason to test specifically for SLS.'
In The Honest Company's official statement, they accused The Wall Street Journal of being "reckless in the preparation of this article, refused multiple requests to share data on which they apparently relied and has substituted junk science for credible journalism."
The consumer goods company has been valued at $1 billion, according to Forbes. In September, The Honest Company was sued by consumer Jonathan D. Rubin who claimed that the company had "deceptively and misleadingly" marketed its products as being "natural" when really a number of items included "unnatural" and synthetic" ingredients. Check out the video below to hear more.