Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

There was a question about the company's name, Seventh Generation. Fifteen years ago, when we started the company, there was a Native American woman working for us. She knew the words of the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy, which says, "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Given the mission of our company, she thought Seventh Generation would be an appropriate name. We loved it.

Every advertising agency we've hired over the last 15 years has tried to get us to change the name. It is a very unusual brand name. It's not like Tide or Joy or Bounty. It isn't like those names "by design". We wanted a name that had depth and richness and meaning and purpose. I think it serves us well. We do put an explanation of the name on all of our packaging. We didn't always do that, but we have found that it helps people understand what our brand stands for.

When you think about it, if any of you made any of your decisions with the thought of what the impact would be seven generations out, I don't think many of you what have the slightest idea what the impact(s) would be. And even though I want to let us all off the hook by saying that I don't think the companies you buy from know either - I still think we all have a very deep responsibility to not live so blindly.