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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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Vanity Thy Name is Green

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Author: the Inkslinger

The new (May) issue of Vanity Fair has just hit newstands from coast to coast. It’s the annual green issue (which ironically must have required a small forest to produce, but let’s not go there. Treehugger did last year and it wasn’t pretty). This year, Leo is on the cover. And Seventh Generation is inside. In a full-page pictorial feature that has Jeffrey and our friends at Method standing on a rooftop in San Francisco amidst shiny piles of safer cleaners. Nice shirt…

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Think Organic Gets “Sue’d”

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Author: the Inkslinger

It’s crazy what you can find when you wander ‘round the internets. For example, just the other day we found this little piece of videography from Think Organic
about our very own company and starring our very own Sue Holden. It was captured at the San Francisco Green Festival last November, and in it Sue gives a nice overview of our company and our stuff. Cool.

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A Very Intense Period

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Author: the Inkslinger

Now that we’ve had a chance catch to quell the panic attacks and mop up all the puddles of perspiration, here’s an update on our tampon donations to women’s shelters. In a word: Whoa! After Kendra posted about our program, the viral nature of the internet took it and ran with it like there was no tomorrow. Our little initiative became a big giant tampon-breathing monster. Budgets were crushed. Hair was lost. Tampons were virtually hurled from coast to coast. Here’s how our internal newsletter, Inner Piece, reports the chain of events in this week’s edition:

Last summer, SVG launched Tampontification.com , encouraging our friends nationwide to get real about menstruation. SVG got real, too. We’d realized that women’s shelters in the U.S. go through thousands of tampons and pads monthly, and while agencies generally assist with everyday necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, and clothing, this most basic need is often overlooked.

Many of us take our monthly trips down the feminine care aisle for granted, but for women in shelters, a box of tampons is five dollars they can’t spare. Solution: virtual donations of our eco-friendly chlorine-free organic cotton fem-care to local shelters, with an emphasis on volunteer opportunities.

Our mission fairies hit the road several months later, delivering product and our message from Seattle to San Fran and all points in between. That message struck a chord with women across the nation~a slow burn, that months later, is spreading like wildfire!

Before long, e-mails like this one began crowding our IN box:

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Science of the Times

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Author: the Inkslinger

Our man, Scienceman, has been one busy lab-coated crusader. Seventh’s grime-fighting superhero has fired up the Factmobile and left his super secret research lair deep beneath Explain Manor to do battle with the forces of eco-evil. Whether it’s banishing dangerous chemicals from the local water supply or being profiled in a leading industry publication, Scienceman is everywhere. Chemical criminals beware!

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Revisting Our Visit With Eva-Marie

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Author: the Inkslinger

So Eva-Marie is our scent guru, our emissary to the unseen world of olfactory mystery that surrounds us. In October, we first introduced her in a post that also came with a story. Except that when we posted it all, the story itself somehow got lost in the luminous ether. During some talk yesterday about this and that, Eva-Marie mentioned the missing story, and we went looking for it. Wasn't there. Don't know why. Just know it went elsewhere when we engaged the apparatus. Normally, we'd overlook this oversight and move on. But a tale such as this deserves its telling. So it is that we reprint the original post from Gregor--this time with the story it was meant to share.

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Eva-Marie Lind, CEO of EM Studios, AROME, was at 7th Gen today helping us think through new designs in organic and bio-dynamic scents for our product line. Eva-Marie is a specialist in aromatic and medicinal plants. The focus of her work is the science, aesthetic and formulation of cutting edge and authentic whole scent designs. It was an amazing experience to sit in the midst of subtle and very organic scents. There was a very profound story behind each scent - a story of the nature that the scent held and revealed - a story that we want people to see and hear when they use our products...

Telling stories that live alive in the moment and in the imagination is a gift...I think we all lived alive all day. Eva-Marie sent me the following story of a point in her life:

When I did one of my summer apprenticeships in teaching middle school I
created a classroom in the russian style of story telling - whereby
children would have but one picture to relate to as the story was told.
In those days I used to do alot of pen and ink sketching and took
upon the challenge of sketching one of the primary components of the
story.

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Tampons, Tampons, Tampons!

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Author: Kendra Sibilia

Women like a lot of things, some may even say they have too many things. Too much make up, too many shoes, too many of the same black t-shirt. But there is one thing women can never have too many of: Tampons. If they’re on sale, if we won’t need them for weeks, or even if we are just in the store, we buy tampons!

Now imagine you couldn’t afford them. Your next period is dreadful enough wondering where you are going to get your next tampon. A lot of women actually live this way. It is horrifying to think about, and the alternative methods women must result to are saddening to say the least.

Seventh Generation has created a lot of talk about this issue by
promising to donate a box of tampons to a women’s shelter in a specified state when someone drags a heart into a house.

Women all over the internet are discussing this issue and sharing the website. It is wonderful to see because women everywhere are recognizing this need and wanting to do something about it. Women are bonding together to help other women solve a problem that shouldn’t even exist.

Strangers are talking to each other about a common problem and are being proactive together. It is inspiring to see this kind of interaction among bloggers, and who knows what else we can accomplish!

UPDATE: Click here for a followup on this campaign!

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Once More Around the Blogosphere:

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Author: Kendra Sibilia

As I’ve said in previous posts, Seventh Generation is not just a product but an idea. To continue with this idea, there is always a mind behind an idea. Jeffrey Hollender is that mind for Seventh Generation. All of his hard work, incredible values and intellect are not solely appreciated by the employees, bloggers also notice. CSRFanatic’s latest post expresses appreciation for Jeffrey.

“He sets a high standard for building an enduring a great company through his unwavering dedication not to compromise the company’s vision and mission.”

CSRFanatic includes many excerpts from other websites and magazine articles that support his conclusion. Jeffrey stands by his values and makes it look so easy to stand strong against all negative influences. Keep up the good work, you set an amazing example!

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Mainstream Media Catches On To Cleaner Issues

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The wave of change continues to accelerate. For almost 20 years stories about whether or not household cleaning products are safe appeared only in relatively obscure environmental magazines if at all! At last these challenges are being raised in the mainstream media, specifically, in this case, in a big article in today's New York Times.

That’s cause for celebration. We’ve come a long way, but in many respects we have also only just begun. Household cleaning products are still exempt from having to disclose their ingredients (which of course Seventh Generation does), independent third party safety testing or government supervision of warning labels. There's more work to do! But it starts with getting the word out, which, given the New York Times' large national circulation, this coverage of the issue does on a promising scale.

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Moving to Organic and Bio-dynamic scents in 7th Gen products

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Author: Gregor

Eva-Marie Lind, CEO of EM Studios, AROME, was at 7th Gen today helping us think through new designs in organic and bio-dynamic scents for our product line. Eva-Marie is a specialist in aromatic and medicinal plants. The focus of her work is the science, aesthetic and formulation of cutting edge and authentic whole scent designs.

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