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CNN.com - January 17th, 2012

 

Jessica Alba's new company sells eco-friendly baby products and more.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Actress Jessica Alba is adding a new role to her list of credits, and that's entrepreneur.

On Tuesday, the mother of two will launch The Honest Company, (honest.com), an e-commerce business, which sells eco-friendly products, such as diapers, baby wipes, household cleaning and bodycare items for a monthly subscription fee.

Alba, 30, who is best known for her television role "Dark Angel" and roles in The Fantastic Four movies, came up with the idea after discovering how difficult it was to find affordable, non-toxic, and attractive baby products for her own kids.

"When I was pregnant three-and-a-half years ago with my daughter, Honor, I started researching how to have a safe home," said Alba. "I was shocked to learn how many dangerous chemicals were in the products I used, including many I had assumed were safe."

Alba, who has sensitive skin, notes that one laundry detergent made especially for babies, caused her to sneeze and break out in a rash.

"If it had that effect on me, I didn't want to use it anywhere near my infant daughter," said Alba. "There are many studies that suggest a link between chemicals found in many of the everyday products we use and diseases including cancer, asthma and ADHD."

So she joined forces with Brian Lee, founder of e-commerce company ShoeDazzle, and also co-founder of LegalZoom, a $150 million online legal services company.

Other partners include Christopher Gavigan, an environmental health leader, and Sean Kane, an executive at website PriceGrabber.com.

The company plans to launch with two bundles: a family essentials pack containing five core family-friendly cleaning products ($35.95), and a diaper bundle, containing a month's supply of biodegradable diapers ($79.95), Alba said they plan to expand the line based on customer feedback.

It is a priority to keep her line affordable. "Most eco-friendly companies don't have a high volume, so they can cost 3 to 4 times as much as what we're offering," she said. "We aren't going to be the cheapest, but we're certainly not the most expensive."

A portion of the company's sales will go to support Baby2Baby, a non-profit that supplies families in need with baby gear and clothing.

First Published: January 17, 2012: 9:56 AM ET