A name can say a lot about a company—where it comes from, what it makes—but for us, Seventh Generation is far more than just a name. It embodies the soul and spirt of who we are, what we strive to be, and what sets us apart.
We began humbly in 1988, when Niche Marketing in Burlington, Vermont acquired a mail-order catalog business that offered energy-, water-, and resource-saving products and was in need of new ownership, as well as a new name. Based on the catalog’s products, which considered the health and well-being of people and the planet, a Niche Marketing employee of Native American descent suggested re-naming the new company after an old Iroquois philosophy, which declares that “in our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” The name felt like the perfect fit for a bold, new endeavor, and in this spirit, Seventh Generation was born.
At Seventh Generation, we’ve always had the belief that you can’t live a healthy life on a sick planet, and from the beginning, we set out to live up to our name and inspire a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations. We also wanted to do business differently and prove that business can be a force for good in the world—that a company can do well, and do good. That’ s why we’re a founding B Corp and help set the standard for corporate responsibility. We’re proud to fight for our workers, our communities, and the environment. Being a B Corp also means being open and transparent, which we do through annual Corporate Consciousness Reports. From the very start, we’ve worked to create products you can feel good about bringing into your home – products that you can trust to work well while also keeping people & planet in mind, always.
As a company, we also stand up for what we believe and know that our beliefs are as important as the products we make. To that end, we were one of the first companies to launch recycled paper products in the early 90’s, and we were also the first to eliminate phosphates from auto-dish liquids. And because we believe you have a #righttoknow what’s in the products you buy and use in your home and around your loved ones, for over twenty years we’ve voluntarily disclosed our ingredients—right on the label. We’ve also partnered with legislators and other allies to fight for more transparent ingredient disclosure in cleaning products and in feminine care, where consumers are especially vulnerable because of a lack of oversight. We’re excited by how far the industry has come, but we know there’s still more work to do in the fight to #comeclean.
We’ve also always made it a point to treat our packaging as more than just a container. It’s why we use recycled materials to design our packaging, and why we design our packaging to be recycled. We lead the way in the use of 100% post-consumer recycled bottles, and we include How2Recycle icons on each package. To further reduce our carbon footprint and look out for the planet we all share, we took a bold step three years ago when we launched a self-imposed carbon tax. That means that for every ton of carbon we use, we’ll charge ourselves $12 and use those funds for programs with a focus on sustainability. Our goal as a company is to be powered by 100% renewable energy, and through a combination of self-improvement, education, and advocacy—we plan to get there.
Nurturing the health of today and the next seven generations is not only the inspiration for our name, it’s the ideal that drives every single decision we make as a company. Thirty years into our journey, we still believe our name fits us perfectly.