The about face by Seventh Generation is part of its strategy to move more into the mainstream. “At this point, we now believe that we can have a bigger impact by partnering with Walmart than by shunning it,” said Hollender. As for Walmart, the addition of Seventh Generation to its shelves is part of its ongoing effort to “sell products that sustain people and the environment.” (For more information, read “Walmart’s Sustainable Product Index aims to develop green rating.”)Seventh Generation products have tended to be among the more expensive options in their category. That’s likely to change, at least for those products sold at Walmart. And that would be a boon to consumers if not for the fact that Seventh Generation products don’t always deliver top performance in our tests.
For example, in our latest review of dishwasher detergents (online and on newsstands Aug. 3), Seventh Generation pacs and powders were both merely fair at cleaning dishes. Seventh Generation did better among laundry detergents, with its Natural Powdered HE being one of the best green products we tested, though conventional formulas by Tide, All, and Gain were better overall at removing stains. Seventh Generation’s highest ranking came in our last review of carpet-stain removers, where its Natural Carpet Spot and Stain Remover earned a Best Buy recommendation. No word yet on whether it will be among the products sold at Walmart.