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.

Add New Comment

3 Comments

  • Deborah Gambill

    I would like to say that though your company may not be perfect, it is refreshing to find a candid and reflective attitude in the business world. If more companies encouraged personal consciousness in their consumers...I think THAT would make a big difference in the next seven generations. Thank you for your products and your honesty

  • Totah Sam

    Being native american myself I'm rather surprised and pleased that the intent and spirit of the 7th Generation has been honored. :o)

  • Brian Smith

    As someone who is very enamored with the Native American culture, I am pleased to say that I understood right away what Seventh Generation referred to. (Not to say that I was the only one.) But I am even more pleased to learn, as I read through your various discussions this week, that it is also TRULY what Seventh Generation stands for. I commend you on what you have accomplished, and only hope that more corporations will follow your lead.