The case focuses on Seventh Generation, a maker of environmentally-sensitive household nondurables such as soaps, detergents, paper products, and diapers. Faced with the prospect of being without a product when a contract manufacturer could no longer make its natural baby wipes, the company substituted conventional wipes. But some of the ingredients in these conventional baby wipes proved unacceptable to its customers. The case provides a broad background on the industry in which Seventh Generation competes, and the developing green niche within it. A history of the company's circuitous journey to become the leader in its field is then presented, with special reference to the importance of its corporate values to strategy and staffing. The case closes with a meeting to decide what to do about the baby wipes problem.
This case took first place in the oikos Case Writing Competition.
An inspection copy of this case is available from the oikos Case Collection.