Alba discusses environment, business

first_imgThe Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Environmental Student Assembly hosted Golden Globe-nominated actress and businesswoman Jessica Alba at Bovard Auditorium on Wednesday night. Alba, the signature speaker for Earth Month 2015, shared her thoughts on environmentalism and entrepreneurship in a contemporary society.Alba emphasized the importance of a strong work ethic as a key to her success.“They [my parents] really taught me about what hard work is all about,” Alba said. “We lived off $14,000 a year. I just [saw] how saddened my parents were, you know … they still wanted to have fun and still wanted to be young, but more than anything they wanted me to have opportunities.”Alba had chronic asthma and severe allergies when she was younger, which landed her in the hospital on multiple occasions and thus gave her time to daydream about becoming an actress.She also said how her father would have preferred her to become a tennis star at his favorite university, USC. After being hired by James Cameron for the TV sitcom, Dark Angel, at age 17, she started working 16 hour days and her career eventually took off, as she went on to star in blockbuster movies such as Sin City and Fantastic Four.When Alba was pregnant with her first daughter, Honor, in 2008, she asked her mother for advice on a laundry detergent, after experiencing a horrible allergic reaction. After some online research about the toxic chemicals in many cleaning products, Alba came up with the idea of starting The Honest Company, a company  dedicated to creating affordable and effective products that would build safe home environments and revolutionize household products.During her three-year research period, before honing in on a business model, Alba faced criticism for trying to penetrate a market saturated with multi-billion dollar corporations. Alba said that what differentiates her company from others is that The Honest Company is not only concerned with the bottom line — it’s concerned about the health ramifications of everyday products such as shampoo, laundry detergent and diapers.Alba talked about how aside from maintaining a health mission for their products, The Honest Company trains employees to care for and educate individual customers and donates to non-profits.“We have a young office [in Santa Monica] where everyone believes in the mission of what we do,” Alba said. “That’s how we hire. We hire people who want to create a non-toxic world, [in which] people who believe in each other. And it’s really a family.”Alba also wrote a book called The Honest Life in which she talks about the breakdown of toxic chemicals in everyday products.last_img

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