Hollywood celebrities love the environment almost as much as they love alternative sources of income. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that a handful of them have launched their own eco-friendly businesses (some just in time for your spring cleaning!). Here are some of the Hollywood's weirdest, varyingly successful eco-friendly side-businesses:
Jessica Alba's Eco-Friendly Home Supplies
That's right: Everyone's favorite Dark Angel is peddling a range of green family products like chlorine-free, non-toxic diapers and non-toxic laundry detergent. It's called The Honest Company and it actually seems like a pretty good business. In March it snagged $27 million in funding from General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners and IVP.
Suzanne Somer's Organic Food Line
This little venture failed almost as soon as it began. Suzanne's Kitchen was launched with business partner and former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown. But things went downhill, according to Brown, when Somers insisted that the recipes offer only organic ingredients, which made the venture "impractical and uneconomical." He later threatened to sue the "Thigh Master" saleswoman for $5 to $10 million. Going green wasn't the best way to, uh, make the green.
Natalie Portman's Vegan Footwear
Another tough sell: In 2008, Portman launched a vegan-friendly line of footwear. "The company with whom Portman collaborated, Te Casan, released the shoe with a steep price tag of $275 for a pair of heels," reported Business Insider's Keertana Sastry. "Not even a whole year later, the parent company and Portman's creation were shut down because of low sales."
Kevin Costner's Oil-Water Separator
Here's a celebrity product that couldn't have found better publicity. At the height of the BP oil spill in 2010, you might remember a certain Water World star testifying before Congress. That's because Costner had spent $20 million developing a machine that purifies 210,000 gallons of oil-polluted water per day. Well, BP ended up giving them top priority over 123,000 other devices. Unfortunately that didn't turn out so well. The machines didn't work up to expectations—one clue should've been their repeated failure in product tests. How come the company went with Costner's devices anyway? "He was on TV. He was telegenic, and there were enormous amounts of money being spent," an unnamed government analyst told The Guardian. Go figure.
Ed Begley, Jr.'s Cleaning Supplies
Christopher Guest trusts him in almost every mocumentary he makes, so why not trust him with your cleaning supplies? Besides, you'll love the "The Begley's Difference," per the company's website:
We believe that environmentally conscious consumers shouldn't be penalized with poorly performing products. That's why every BEGLEY'S Earth Responsible Product is individually designed and tested to perform equal to or better than its corresponding non-green alternative.
Elizabeth Hurley's Organic Snacks
She's a model, she's an actor and she also sells organic snacks produced from her own farm! Austin Powers actress Elizabeth Hurley joined forces with an upscale UK department store to unveil a line of organic snacks. "In 2009, Hurley repeated the success of her snack line with Harrod's by joining forces with Prince Charles and his organic farming/food company Duchy Originals," reported Business Insider. "She now provides meat and vegetables from her own farm."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.