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Seventh Generation CEO Blogs Against Consumerism

Seventh Generation CEO Blogs Against Consumerism

Hollender: "If you already own 50 t-shirts, buying another made from organic cotton will not make the world a better place."

October 11, 2007 —

Founded in 1988, Seventh Generation Inc. is one of the biggest success stories in ethical business. The company's name comes from the Iroquois belief that we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.  CEO Jeffrey Hollender is so passionate about sustainability that he finds time to blog about it.

Offering everything from laundry detergent, to paper towels, to household cleaners, Seventh Generation is one of the more visible ethical product lines in your grocery store.  If it's not, ask the store manager to consider carrying it or send a note to the executive office. Not only has the company shown a dedication over the years to finding new ways to make their products safer and more eco-friendly, they also make a difference through partnerships with environmental activism groups and charities.

Hollender blogged about his experience at the Wal-Mart CEO Sustainability Summit, which he attended along with about 400 other CEOs from companies that supply the retail superpower:

What scares me about this fever pitch of going green is the lack of
systemic understanding of the problems we face, and the risk that some
of these well-intentioned solutions are likely to make things worse.
While compact fluorescents are great, too many of them are powered by
coal plants. If you already own 50 t-shirts, buying another made from
organic cotton will not make the world a better place. Purchasing CDs
in recycled paperboard boxes will still create more CO2 emissions than
downloading your music from the web. Less wasteful packaging of
processed foods will not help solve the huge nutrition problem our
nation faces. While I’m glad that some of the toxic chemicals are out
of Scotchguard, why were they there in the first place? Do we really
need to apply synthetic treatments to the fabrics in our homes if
they’re going to pollute our bodies?

If you're intrigued by the idea of a CEO who spends his time thinking about how to make people buy less, then Hollender's blog, and products, are worth checking out.

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