It sounds funny to say this now, but in 2008, there was a whole lot of what we called ‘greenwashing’— every brand was saying they were better for the earth, or a ‘green brand’ and no claims were actually even being regulated by the FDA.

We were brought in to a pitch for Seventh Generation and I just about fought my way onto the team. A brand that cared about the environment, about the future of our generations. A brand from the Northeast, my home. My heart was in it from the minute I heard we were talking to them and still is with them today. When we met with them, they had never done a digital campaign. I think they had done one TV spot that ran unsupported by anything else. They felt too granola-y, too brown and Birkenstock-y. We had the chance to work with their team to give them color, to give them a voice, and to give them a mission statement with meaning to consumers, not just internally. Their groundswell had been built in Vermont, with their cult-following and with their employees, but not beyond. We had to take it beyond.

We wanted to create a Label Reading Guide App. At the time, apps weren’t a thing. I think one person on our team had worked on one before. We had to ‘talk’ with Apple. It was exciting. It was hard. And it was incredibly technical. We thought that if Seventh Generation wanted to make a statement they needed to help educated consumers on what was/wasn’t ok on grocery shelves, since the FDA wasn’t doing it for them. Turns out an ingredient in a typical laundry detergent could cause blindness, and irritants were all over the ingredient list, most of that list totally foreign and unknown to Moms who do most of the shopping for household goods. We worked directly with Seventh Generation’s research and development team— doctors with PhDs, to go through every common ingredient found in dish soap, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes — and analyze why it’s in there, what it does/doesn’t do, and the possible side effects. We essentially made an encyclopedia for household items and their ingredients, on an app that was easy to use, for moms to pull out while in-aisle and compare brands and products, a Label Reading Guide. It led any smart mom to realize that buying Seventh Generation came with no fears, while buying other brands came with more than they ever thought.

To go along with the app launch, we created a highly political digital banner campaign, where depending on your location, you could send a cute/punny email to your congressman by entering in your zipcode. It was a form letter asking for better restrictions and for transparency. We created a partnership with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to ensure our claims and requests were validated. We made moms feel safe and secure when they purchased Seventh Generation and purchase they did.