On Landing the cover: “It’s an honor to be asked to be a part of SELF magazine. I really love what SELF stands for and what it does for women and women’s confidence. I loved the clothes at the shoot—I thought they were really fun and colorful.”
Her Cause: Alba’s company, Honest, makes and sells eco-friendy baby, bath, body and household products. A portion of proceeds goes to children and families in need via Baby2Baby.
How you can help: Call your senator to support the Safe Chemicals Act, which would require testing of chemicals in household products. Or visit Honest.com for info on Baby2Baby, her company’s nonprofit partner.
The Spark: “I found my daughter Honor sitting in her crib, eating these tiny beads from the inside of her diaper. They were all over her face. It was a moment of terror.”
The Harsh Reality: “Thankfully, Honor was OK, but it was so crazy, and I felt guilty afterward. I worried that I’d poisoned my daughter—and these were eco-diapers! I found ones that seemed safer, but they leaked, so I had to use two at once, and they were already so expensive. The more research I did, the more irritated I got. Most parents don’t have time to do all this research—they need a company with products they can trust. I wanted to create that.”
The Hope: “If you have toxic chemicals in your dish soap, laundry detergent, lotion, mattress and food, they get into your system and add up. It’s cumulative. My philosophy is that if we can try to eliminate all those little bits along the way, everyone will have a better shot. I want people to know that they have the power to make different choices for themselves and for their family. That could save lives.”
The Advantage: “I can’t think of a better way to spend my work life than on a movie set. But with people following me when I go out and everyone wanting me to endorse things, I thought, I can either go into a cave and hide or use my access to influence something I’m passionate about. So I turned the attention into a positive by offering safe, nontoxic, affordable but high-quality products for families, all from one place.”
The Passion: “It took me 3 1/2 years to launch The Honest Company. When things didn’t go smoothly, I’d get really upset. I worried that I was wasting so much time and money! But my husband, Cash, would tell me, ‘You didn’t waste anything. Look how much you’ve learned.’ His perspective kept me going.”