The (Dis) Honest Company vs. Honest Toddler

W is done with diapers now, except for Honest Companynighttime (story on this forthcoming), but while she was still in diapers, we moved away from cloth (I got sick of touching poop) and started using diapers from The Honest Company. I really liked their ethos (sustainability, environmentally friendly practices, non-toxic cleaning products, etc). They also have really cute diapers in lots of fun patterns, ship for free (if you subscribe), and send free wipes with every order. What’s not to love?

Turns out, there’s quite a bit that’s unlovable about The “Honest” Company (and yes, I put that in quotes for a reason). I learned today that the company contacted one of my very favorite bloggers/facebook pages/twitterers (is that a word?) — Honest Toddler — and made some thinly veiled threats. You can read the whole story, with updates, here, but long story short, The Honest Company wanted the (longer-standing) Honest Toddler to delete all his (her? its?) accounts, on the grounds that the similar names could “cause confusion,” and if the accounts weren’t deleted, things could “get expensive” for Honest Toddler. When Honest Toddler refused to back down and the angry mob of Honest Toddler-loving moms and dads rose up with pitchforks and angrily-typed missives, The Honest Company claimed the whole thing had been a misunderstanding. Riiiight. I’ve got some ocean-view property here in Phoenix that I’d like to throw in free for whomever is willing to buy that claim.

Anyway, The Honest Company is now trying to make nice with Honest Toddler, having apologized (informally and out of the public eye). They’re also offering a year’s supply of their diapers as a giveaway on Honest Toddler’s Facebook page. That’s nice and all, but I’m still pissed. Win or no win for the little guy, I hate seeing example after example of corporate greed, particularly when it’s directed against someone who is not in business (like Honest Toddler), or a small company that 1) isn’t a viable competitor for the larger company, and 2) no reasonable person would actually confuse with the larger company (like the recent case of Hansens/Monster Energy Drink threatening the Rock Art craft brewery over their “Vermonster” beer).

In a (relatively feeble and insignificant) gesture of protest, I contacted The Honest Company and cancelled my diaper subscription (which, yeah, I needed to do anyway) and my cleaning product subscription. I also “unliked” their Facebook page (I know…pulling out the big guns, right?). Oh, and I decided to write a pissy little blog post about all of this because I once (or twice, or maybe three times) heartily endorsed The Honest Company on SquintMom’s own Facebook page, and I want to formally retract that endorsement.

As I reread this post prior to publishing, it occurs to me that there is one way in which a reasonable person could confuse The Honest Company and Honest Toddler: they both act like two-year-olds. The difference, of course, is that Honest Toddler is funny and The Honest Company…well, they’re just bratty. I think someone needs a time out.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sophie B.
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 16:36:18

    Honest Toddler’s update made it pretty clear, to me at least, HC they only wanted HT to not bring their name and brand into their market of diapers and soap. HT seemed to think they wanted Honest Toddler shut down completely and so they posted a rant on FB. It was a completely common business practice to get similar named brands to legally agree to not enter your market. HT overreacted originally in my mind because they didn’t understand what was being asked of them legally. I think both companies owe an apology to each other which Honest Co. has done. HT could have waited to talk to HC and gain understanding, but instead just went off on FB right away. Both companies made mistakes, but they obviously worked it all out.

    So, HC wanted them to remove the word Honest unless they were willing to give legal assurance they would not enter the diapers and soap market where – if they ever did decide to enter the market -having two companies named “Honest Toddler” and “Honest Company” could absolutely create consumer confusion. That isn’t bullying, that is common sense. Yes, you could say she probably never had those intentions, but as a business you protect yourself anyway. I’m fine with how HC handled the issue. I have major issues with how HonestToddler handled themselves. Basically, they became the bully in the matter. I am very disappointed in HT for now.

    But I’ll still follow the twitter feed. Who am I kidding. Lol.

    Reply

    • SquintMom
      Apr 17, 2013 @ 21:40:04

      “Don’t sell diapers or soap” was what HC settled for. Originally, they asked HT to stop having any internet presence with the name “Honest…”

      Reply

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  3. Kell
    Jul 28, 2013 @ 19:34:16

    So…The (Dis)Honest Company is back at it. If you check their and Honest Toddler’s Facebook page, you’ll see the back and forth. This company is bullying a blogger because their names are similar, yet NO ONE confuses the two. Ridiculous.

    Reply

  4. Darci jones
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 13:36:09

    The honest company must not have Telly meant their apology because they are at it again.

    Reply

  5. Tonks
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 15:47:28

    Well they are at it again. It was all lies to get HT to let their guard down. Alba’s company is truly dishonest.

    Reply

  6. Amaani
    Aug 03, 2013 @ 08:57:30

    I think Honest Company are big babies who cannot stand for someone to compete with them, which in this case is not a competition because Honest Toddler is a blogger, not a diaper salesperson. Even if Honest Toddler wanted to sell products in the future, assuming the blog grows tremendously she should be able to do so without persecution. If the people at trademark did not have any issues with her brand then why should Honest company? Only people who are filled with greed(money hunger savages) and envy are the ones who goes after others just trying to make their lives better. I could name a few examples of cases like this, and how many judges threw them out finding it frivolous. Honest toddler should not and does not have to sign any contract regarding her company which is not fair and just. If people understood Business law properly then they would never side with HC in the first place. Only after the public’s disdain, HC recants the previous threats. If I was the owner of HT, I would be mad as well and put up a fight.

    Reply

  7. July
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 18:26:59

    Thanks for posting about this. I’m going to look into it a bit further and if Honest Company has behaved badly, I’ll also cancel my subscription. I’m not their biggest customer (I use their disposables for day care, but cloth at home) but still.

    Reply

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