Born in Detroit, Michigan, Michael Budman and Don Green first met in 1963 at Camp Tamakwa in Ontario. After graduating from Michigan State University, both Budman and Green took up permanent residence in Canada in 1969. Inspired by their teenage summer-camp experiences in Ontario’s Algonquin Park, they created a business that celebrates the natural beauty and culture of Canada.
Established in Toronto in 1973, ROOTS is Canada’s leading lifestyle brand, selling a wide range of clothing, leather goods and accessories for men and women of all ages.
Starting as a single store with a single product (the ROOTS Negative Heel Shoe), ROOTS grew by establishing other signature products, including leather jackets and bags, the ROOTS awards jacket, the ROOTS Beaver Athletic sweatshirt (a cultural phenomenon in 1985), the Tuff Boot and the leather club chair.
To expand its range of offerings, the privately held company has developed relationships with more than 20 licensees, producing shoes, underwear, fashion accessories, fragrances, watches, luggage, linens, home furnishings and more.
ROOTS has created a unique Canadian cachet by nurturing connections with high-profile entertainment and sports celebrities, and by customizing products for thousands of films, television shows, musical groups and sports teams.
The company has always emphasized an athletic lifestyle and a strong team spirit. This creates a natural fit with the Olympic Games – bringing together the best athletes with the best apparel brand. In 1998, ROOTS outfitted the Canadian snowboard team, gaining worldwide recognition for exceptional designs. Over subsequent summer and winter games, the company has developed relationships with additional teams. In 2004, the company dressed four countries – Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Barbados – with hopes for more in the future.
ROOTS products are available through 225 branded stores, including 140 in Canada, 5 in the United States, 12 in Taiwan and 68 in Korea. ROOTS products are also sold by independent retailers and department stores around the world.