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38. Seventh Generation

Published July 12, 2011
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38. Seventh Generation

Burlington, VT



Sales: $150 million


$150 million (estimated).

Key Personnel:

Peter Graham, chairman; John Replogle, chief executive officer and president.

Major Products:

Cleaning, baby and personal care products; also paper products.

New Products:

Natural 4X laundry detergent in a fiber bottle, Natural Hand Wash, Free & Clear Dishwasher Gel.


In March, John Replogle, who had been CEO of Burt’s Bees, left the hive to take over the reigns at Seventh Generation. He replaced Chuck Maniscalco, who resigned in September 2010 after joining the company in 2009 to replace company founder Jeffrey Hollender at the top post—and help grow the firm to a $1 billion dollar operation. Hollender, who had moved to the role of executive chairperson when Maniscalco was hired, was forced out just two months after Maniscalco quit.

Yet even with all the turmoil, it appears that Seventh Generation has not lost sight of its core values. In fact, just last month the Burlington, VT-based company was named the greenest brand in America by the annual ImagePower Global Green Brands Survey. In the survey, which included 9,000 respondents in eight countries measuring perceptions and sentiments of green actions by industries, products and brands, Seventh Generation topped a number of eco-minded firms, including Whole Foods, Tom’s of Maine, Burt’s Bees, and SC Johnson, (for the full list, see Newsfront p. 15 in this issue).

The most recent proof of its passion for being green comes via a packaging innovation unveiled this year: a new liquid laundry detergent bottle made from 100% percent recycled cardboard and newspaper. It features a fully-recyclable and even compostable outer shell made from 70% recycled cardboard fibers and 30% old newspaper fibers that supports a recyclable lightweight plastic pouch inside. It uses 66% less plastic than typical 100 ounce 2X detergent bottles.

In addition, the company is also focused on what’s inside the detergent bottle—or more accurately, what isn’t inside. In December 2010, Seventh Generation rolled out a marketing campaign to highlight the fact that its detergents are optical brightener-free. It created a special microsite themed “Just Say No To the Glow” and sent out samples of laundry detergent, video cameras and black lights to bloggers so they could post videos of demonstrations of laundry washed in Seventh Generation’s detergent and other “conventional” detergents that left behind residue from the brighteners. About 24 of them posted their videos, according to reports.

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