The Honest Company Diapers
Rating: Proceed with Caution
I'm sure you, like me, have seen the commercials. The Honest Company (which boasts Jessica Alba as one of its cofounders) promises non-toxic and eco-friendly solutions for all your home and baby needs, and in cute packaging and trendy prints, no less. To top it off, they ship it all swiftly to your home (for free, if you sign up for their subscription services). So as a new mom still trying to figure out this new role, I thought to give them a shot with one of the most frequently purchased items in my life right now: diapers.
But before taking the plunge with one of their pricey diaper service subscriptions (where every month for $80 they send you a box full of what they estimate to be enough diapers and wipes to get you through the next thirty days), I went to the site to sign up for a "free trial". However, you are still asked to pay for shipping for the sample box they send you. Now this almost made me say "ugh, forget it", as I see this as being similar to being asked to pay for your own drinks at a wedding or a cover at a club. But I decided to chalk up the six bucks in the name of product research, and I continued on.
Well, after specifying over and over on the online ordering portal that I needed size two diapers for my five month old baby boy, a few days later I received the sample box of newborn-sized diapers. Ugh. Then, two days later I saw an email in my inbox from the Honest Co., saying that my "recent order had shipped". Hmm. What order?, I thought, I hadn't ordered anything! As it turns out, when you sign up for their "free" sample box, they automatically enroll you in their subscription service (without taking obvious steps to alert you to that fact), and they had already sent me my first month's supply of diapers - despite the fact that they had sent me diapers in the sample box that I couldn't use, so how was I able to properly judge if this product would even work for me? So not cool.
Yes, I know its my own fault for giving them my billing information when I ordered the "free" trial, hence they were able to charge me the whopping $80 for a month's worth of diaper supplies, but let's be real here. This is a company called the Honest Company. Shouldn't you be able to expect a higher code of conduct from an organization that bears that moniker? I certainly think so. But alas, they left me with the icky feeling that they too (along with Facebook, Google, etc.) are using their customer's information and abusing their trust in order to generate revenue.
What I'm about to describe next has saved the Honest Co. from receiving a damning Empty Promises rating from shetrusts. Feeling overwhelmingly frustrated and annoyed that all this trouble had stemmed from simply wanting to receive a "free" trial, I called the company to speak to a customer service representative. The young man I spoke with could not have been nicer and more pleasant to deal with. He answered the phone right away, so I didn't have to fall deeper into the rabbit hole of frustration by being forced to sit endlessly on hold. And to correct the problems I was having, he canceled the diaper subscriptions that I was auto-enrolled in, and put in an order for a new sample diaper box in the correct size to be sent to me that same day. He also emailed me a return shipping label for the box containing the monthly diaper subscription services, and explained that once the box was received back to them that I would be refunded the full amount. It took about two weeks from the time that the package was received for me to receive my money back. But it did return, all in one piece.
Now, on to review the actual diapers themselves: while I thoroughly enjoyed the adorable prints on the diapers (giraffes, mustaches, madras, skull and bones, etc.) to the hum-drum designs on other diaper brands, they did not work nearly as well as our usual go-to's (Pampers' Swaddlers). We experienced two poopie leaks and one urine leak (in the middle of the night, no less, which meant less sleep for Momma here) during the two days we used the sample box. And while I don't particularly count this against the diapers themselves (a diaper that fully protects one baby may not do the same for the next), it did not convince me to double our diaper budget by re-enrolling in the diapers subscription service. Currently, we spend about $40 per month in diapers and wipes. And while the amount of money we spend is not a primary concern (we could always save more money by buying Luvs brand), I just don't see the point of doubling the amount of money we spend on this necessity just for cute graphics and to go the "eco" friendly route. Sorry (not sorry). I'd rather put that money towards my 401K.
But isn't this the constant argument that comes with this territory? I'm sure we would all love to buy organic 100% of the time and buy the "eco-friendly" version of everything. But at what cost? People who are really pinching pennies and those living in poverty in struggling countries could care less about this, because to them, it is a "luxury" to be able to be concerned with when they're just trying to survive to see the next day, or to buy diapers in the first place. In my opinion, this will continue to be the battle that companies like the Honest Co. will be faced with. Until they can be more cost comparable to their "non eco-friendly" counterparts, they will be unable to turn the tide completely.
In the meantime, I'll stick with the "toxic" Pampers, continue to reuse my grocery bags, fill my car with E85 FlexFuel, and feed my family the fresh fruits and veggies that my fiancé grows in our garden.
Hows that for eco-friendly?
... as tested by Katherine Hanson.