Company Fact Sheet
Roots is Canada’s leading lifestyle brand known around the world for
its quality leather goods, apparel, accessories and home furnishings.
Michael Budman and Don Green, who still run the business today, founded Roots in 1973. The privately
held Canadian company began with a small store in Toronto selling what soon became the highly
successful Roots ‘negative heel’ shoe.
The logo – featuring the Cooper font and the quintessential Canadian animal, the beaver – was designed
by two of Canada’s leading graphic designers of the 1970s, Heather Cooper and Robert Burns.
The Roots global headquarters and design centre are located in Toronto at 1400 Castlefield Ave. The
company’s state-of-the-art leather goods factory is located in Toronto on Caledonia Road. It has always
been operated by the Kowalewski family, famous for three generations of old-world craftsmanship.
Roots has more than 220 retail stores in Canada, the United States and Asia (China, Taiwan).
Roots merchandise includes Roots Genuine Leather (jackets, bags and luggage); Roots Athletics
(sportswear); Roots Kids and Roots Baby (clothing); Roots Home (leather furniture, linens, towels and
accessories) and a number of licensees in categories including timepieces and luggage.
Roots has a rich Canadian heritage and a strong link with Canada. The country’s nature, culture, sports
and human diversity have always been a major source of inspiration at Roots. Employing more than 1,500
people in Canada, Roots also contributes to the employment of thousands more through its work with
suppliers and other activities.
Green is more than just the official colour of Roots. It also reflects the company’s longtime environmental
commitment, which includes using recycled, reclaimed and non-toxic materials in the building of stores;
making sustainable products; supporting various environmental organizations and related projects.
From start to finish, Don and Michael are involved in the manufacturing process, checking out new fabrics,
working with the designers to fine-tune and further enhance prototypes, and always exploring new ways to
make more and more Roots products eco-friendlier. Nothing receives the green light to be manufactured
until Michael and Don have made sure each product looks and feels right.
Roots has an extensive Community Support program that provides assistance to numerous charitable
organizations, especially those working with children in need or helping the environment.
Roots has always been a big proponent of Canadian athletes and sports in general. Among those the
company has supported are Adam van Koeverden, Kurt Browning, Catriona Le May Doan, Razor Ruddock
and many other amateur athletes.
The Business-to-Business Department attracts high profile clients interested in customized Roots
products. It has long been a leader in producing custom merchandise for an impressive roster of
Canadian and US companies, including hundreds of films, TV shows, major concert tours and other
cultural events and organizations.