Overall, I really appreciate and enjoy the concept of this company. It’s incredibly important to ensure that the sustainable alternatives that companies propose are accessible to the general public, otherwise how sustainable is it, really? However, I would argue that the biggest component of sustainability is transparency, and Hey Humans is very much failing to disclose both the ingredient and process information in an accessible way. If I have to go through the potential customers’ comments on the website, through the store that heyhumans is selling to, not even on Hey Humans’ website itself, and only find the ingredients because there are allergy concerns, then there is something wrong with the transparency of the company as a whole. I think the product is good in and of itself, and can recognize that this is a very, very new company, but if a company is going to purport an image of a highly sustainable company, then it needs to do better than Hey Humans is currently doing.
It was incredibly difficult to find a complete list of all of the ingredients that this toothpaste contains. Hey Humans are incredibly forthcoming insofar that the ingredients are “naturally-derived”, and includes a few of the ingredients contained, such as coconut, tea tree, and mooring seed oils. On the FAQ page it states that “A full ingredient list for each of our products can be found on the back of our packaging as well as the product detail pages on the website.” I was unable to find such detail page. Additionally, it is very easy to see how it would be problematic that one would have to search the actual tangible product for the ingredients, when said ingredients could be the influencing factor in whether or not someone buys this product (i.e., if they’re buying online). In fact, the only place I was able to find a full list of ingredients was within the Q&A section of the product’s page on Target’s website, where Hey Humans products are currently exclusively being sold. Someone had made an inquiry because their allergies were a determining factor in whether or not they were going to purchase the toothpaste. The such ingredients are:
“Glycerin, Water, Hyrated Silica, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Calcium Carbonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Cellulose Gum, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) LEaf Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Menthol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Hydrogen Perioxide, Agave Tequilana Stem Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Flabor, mint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Cornmint OIl, Peppermint Oil, Clove Oil”
The FAQ page on heyhumans.com (http://humans.com/) , however, does provide an extensive list of ingredients that their products are free from, as well as highlighting the fact that their products are vegan. So, while the ingredients themselves contribute towards a positive image, the lack of ease of finding the complete list of ingredients leaves a - pardon the pun - bad taste in my mouth.
I was unable to find where heyhumans source their materials from, or how they make their products. The one thing that is just barely specified about the process is that it uses “Everice Technology”, which “stimulates thermoreceptors in your mouth and provides an icy-cool, long-lasting fresh breath explosion”. Which would be fantastic, except for the fact that the only result I could find for Everice Technology was a software company that “creates unique technologies for cryptocurrency trading”, which I am mildly certain is not the technology that heyhumans is talking about. Something I would recommend for this company is linking other companies used in their production processes on their website, which is oftentimes where the consumer will go when attempting to ascertain any more information regarding the product that they are interested in buying.
An aspect I admire about Hey Humans’ products is their “99% plastic free packaging”. In this area, they are much more transparent, detailing that the toothpaste tube is made from recyclable aluminum, the carton is made “of FSC paper which comes from responsibly-sourced wood fiber”, and the cap is made “from a corn-based substitute made from fermented plant starch”. Furthermore, they make it a point to note that “No new plastic is used or produced for our product packaging”. Hey Humans also reveals that their products are never tested on humans, and are completely cruelty free.
It was honestly pretty difficult to find much information regarding the company as a whole. This could be partially attributed to the fact that Hey Humans launched January 31, 2021, according to their Instagram (heyhumansofficial). Most of the information that I found that has not been previously mentioned is largely about their website itself, which works to ensure that they are “providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability”, and details the different “disability profiles supported” on the website.
Hey Humans’ products are notably more accessible than most brands that claim to be sustainable; providing all of their products at $6 or less. Furthermore, their products are “proudly made in the U.S.”, and “Clean and Naturally Derived”. Co-founder Jada Pinkett Smith says that she is “committed to the planet and strive to make a positive impact on the environment”, which is a really wonderful sentiment, and certainly heyhumans is “Leading the mission to be plastic free and affordable to all”, as evidenced by their packaging and prices. However, the information about the company is largely about how they want to be sustainable, and to lead the charge on plastic waste reduction through helping people transition their daily individual habits to something more sustainable. It’s much more conceptual than informative, if you’re looking for more information pertaining to the logistics of the company.