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www.7g.cnn.tv

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Author: the Inkslinger

CNN visited the office a while back and spent an afternoon interviewing Jeffrey and videoing this and that around the office. The result is a snazzy little profile that can be viewed on the CNNMoney site. It’s an interesting glimpse of life in these climes. As somebody who’s been with the company since it was mail order catalog that struggled mightily to reach even bare bones survival sales of $5 million a year and quite often depended on the kindness of strangers to make it to the next quarter, it is completely utterly amazing to me to hear Jeffrey talk about seeing the the $250-500 million mark on the horizon. That’s like half a billion dollars. Holy burstin’ bankroll, Batman! That’s huge chunk of change. And I mean change as in changing minds, changing attitudes, changing ways, and changing the world. Good deal…

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Our Name in Lights

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Author: the Inkslinger

A couple of quick media notes to finish out the week…

Seventh Generation gets a nice plug near the end of this look at what it means to walk one’s sustainable talk from GreenBiz.com.

Jeffrey made Grist’s list of 15 Green Business Founders everyone should know about.

And our dish liquid won raves in official mom testing at Parenting magazine.

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Media Madness

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Author: the Inkslinger

For our next trick, we will take a single small company and make it appear very nearly almost everywhere at once…

Here we are taking 2nd place in Cook’s Country magazine’s dishwashing liquid tests.

Last week, Jeffrey appeared on WOR radio’s Joan Hamburg Show in New York City. You can hear his segment here (scroll down to August 29, Hour 1).

Jeffrey is also featured on the Fast Company blog in this interview outtake from the magazine’s September cover story on Greenpeace’s Adam Werbach.

And in the strange world of product placement, ours have been getting placed on Hollywood sets left and right. You have to look closely at the background scenery, (kitchen sets are usually the places to scrutinize) and having a DVR for pausing purposes helps, but our stuff has been playing a minor supporting role on The New Adventures of Old Christine not to mention Jeanne Tripplehorn's kitchen on the HBO series Big Love, as well as the countertops of Rachael Ray and Bravo's Top Chef.

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The Culture of Cancer

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Author: the Inkslinger

Last night the CBS Evening News ran a piece on Kris Carr, director of the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer and author of an accompanying book on cancer tips. Kris was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable cancer and since then has been defying the odds by not only surviving but flourishing. Hers is a genuine profile in true courage, and she’s a real inspiration on every level.

But I couldn’t help thinking that CBS missed the real story here, which is why is it that we now have what amounts to a cancer culture? Even forgetting for a moment the weird commercials for chemotherapy relief drugs on network TV or the whole oncology industry itself, we’re awash in survivors’ stories, how-to-beat-it books, motivational cancer speakers, and more. We’ve accepted freaky cancer rates and increasing incidences of once rare forms as normal and spun the whole idea off as a new market in which cancer is just business as usual.

The real question is: What’s causing all this cancer? Why have we come to have a cancer culture in the first place? What is it that's making so many of us so sick? Why has cancer touched so many lives that it’s able to spawn its own industry and a constant flood of news stories, it’s own markets and its own communities? When are journalists going to start asking about the cause instead of simply interviewing the tragic results?

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Notes From a Media Junkie

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Author: the Inkslinger

A couple of random media notes of possible interest…

The new season of Living with Ed premiered last weekend on HGTV. I missed the first season, so I’m kind of behind on the whole Ed concept, but the basic idea is we follow actor and hardcore enviro-dude Ed Begley, Jr. around as he leads a seriously green life. Where last season trailed him at home, this season apparently tags along as as he eco-audits celebrity pals and helps them go green. It’s more interesting than I thought it would be, and I am very amused by Ed’s exasperated wife who is less than enthused by but nonetheless tolerant of Ed’s deep green habits. It’s worth watching if you have HGTV. Years ago, when Seventh Gen was a catalog, and I was one of its customer service reps, and Ed was one of its customers, he and I had a nice long talk about what was then his radical green lifestyle. He’s a great guy who walks the talk. I bet he’s converted half of Hollywood …

Also found an interesting new website blog thing called the Daily Green. It’s one of those catch-all sites that covers all the green bases, but it’s got a nice look and a lot of the content is pretty interesting. (I like the weird weather climate crisis photo blog. A novel way to bring the point that something’s up banging home.) The site is from the Hearst Corporation, so I’m instinctively a little suspicious. (Can’t ever seem to quite bring myself to instantly and automatically trust the output of giant multinational corporations whatever that output might be). Still, on first glance, this one seems kosher. Time will tell…

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My Friday With the Big O: Oprah Goes Green

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Author: the Inkslinger

When people ask me how I spend my days as a writer who largely works out of his home, my joke has always been that I really just sit around the house all day smoking cigars and watching Oprah in my boxers. So it’s more than a little ironic to have actually just finished watching Oprah (albeit fully dressed and sans cigar) as part of my official duties.

Oprah is alright in my book. She stood up to the Texas beef boys
and told them where they could put their crazy food libel laws. She’s pushed some quality literature to the masses via her book club. And she generally doesn’t shy away from the tough issues nor dumb anything down too much. I think she builds a lot of critical awareness of key issues among ordinary Americans who are often too busy to do it by themselves.

Her Earth Day edition show, which featured our products in several segments and just finished airing here in Vermont performed that service for green living. It was like one of those 50-simple-things-you-can-do books transformed into an hour TV show. Nothing too deep green, but lots of good, useful ideas along with well-stated rationales for making the suggested changes.

I was surprised by how well Oprah packed so much solid, important info into such a short time, Among the Seventh Gen-oriented highlights:

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An Oprah-tunity To See Us In Your Living Room

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Rumor has it that Oprah will be sniffing our toilet bowl cleaner this afternoon.

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Net-Impact, Mark Gunther & Me

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mark Gunther, Fortune Magazine’s top “green” reporter, for a series of conversations organized by Net-Impact, a group of several thousand MBA’s committed to making business more responsible. Check out Mark’s thoughts on the conversation in his blog post "Seventh Generation’s Long Journey"

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Up On the Roof at the Vanity Fair Photo Shoot

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(Note: I wrote this post in January, immediately after the photo shoot for our new Vanity Fair magazine feature. I couldn’t post it then because the contents of the issue were secret and they asked us all not to say anything about it. But now that the magazine is on newsstands, the coast is clear. So here’s my own “snapshot” from behind the scenes at the shoot…

San Francisco, Blue Sky Studios. We have a pretty special opportunity: being included in Vanity Fair’s April 07 Green Issue. We’re sharing the stage with the founders of Method, Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry. I arrive at 12 noon. In the studio the “shooter,” Todd Eberle, is assembled with four photographer’s assistants, a set designer, a stylist, an assistant stylist, a “groomer,” a local personal assistant and two Vanity Fair staffers. I count 12 people in all. They've been here since 10am. There are Apple laptops, food, clothes, product, makeup, lights, and equipment everywhere. The day before they began to build the set. I’m the first one into “styling’” which means I strip to my boxers as they try on 15 – 20 different outfits. You can’t wear your own clothes. Everything about the photo is designed. It feels as much like a theatre piece as it does a photo shoot.

I end up in a paper thin stripped crew neck sweater and Levis jeans. I don’t feel particularly hipper than I did in my own clothes, but then my kids don’t consider me particularly fashion forward. On to the “groomer.” She starts with a haircut before filling my head with “product” to keep my hair standing on end. Then on to makeup. By 1:00 pm I’m ready to go. By 2:00 pm, I’m still waiting and am now using the time to explore ways we can collaborate with Method to fend off the consumer packaged goods giants.

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Tube Time: Seventh Gen On the Air

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Author: the Inkslinger

For all those whose TV antennas (or satellite dishes or cables or fiber optics or whatever…) are within reach of the signal from Vermont Public Television, we’ve got this Official Media Alert:

A new two-part program called ReGeneration
debuts tomorrow night, April 18th at 7:30 with part two following on April 25th. The VPT program discusses a variety of eco-oriented people, projects, and businesses in our enviro-minded home state. An interview with Jeffrey and a look at Seventh Generation is featured as part of the April 18th edition. Set those Tivos and fire up the popcorn maker…

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