Q: Is the environment important to Roots?
Yes. We consider protecting the environment one of the most critical issues of our time. It is incumbent on every company and individual to act responsibly and to do what they can to minimize their environmental impact. Long before global warming became a household term, Roots supported a wide range of eco-friendly initiatives. Roots has worked with some of the world’s leading environmentalists alongside government, private and non-profit organizations involved in safeguarding our battered earth.

Q: How does Roots demonstrate its commitment to the environment?
In multiple ways, big and small. From making sustainable products to the way we build our stores; from our financial support of environmental organizations to helping raise awareness among our staff and customers about green issues; from reducing waste and packaging to having deliveries to e-commerce customers made by a courier that uses hybrid trucks, Roots is a proponent and practitioner of responsible, eco-friendly policies.

Q: Does Roots make any eco-friendly products?
Yes, more and more every season. We are continually developing eco-friendly products, increasing the use of organic cotton (which we first began experimenting with in 1989), recycled cotton, recycled polyesters and natural sustainable fabrics such as wool, bamboo, hemp and soy. With an excellent customer response, Roots has introduced products featuring environmental benefits throughout our collections of womenswear, menswear, baby wear and accessories. They include T-shirts, polos, tank tops, sweat tops and bottoms, dresses, yoga jackets, yoga wear, hats, socks, linen and baby clothes.

Q: Are Roots stores green?
Yes, as much as possible, especially those built or renovated in recent years. Increasingly, Roots integrates sustainable practices in every new store construction or major renovation, including the use of bamboo flooring and cabinets, non-toxic water-based glue, organic paints, energy-efficient lighting, and salvaged reclaimed wooden building materials. When renovating a store, we always strive to minimize the amount of garbage and waste. That’s why we recycle and reuse existing materials as much as possible. We also build our stores on a short timeline to reduce the amount of energy consumed during construction.

Q: Is reducing waste part of Roots environmental actions?
Yes. In our stores, Head Office, factory and warehouse/distribution centre, we have an active program for recycling and eliminating the use of unnecessary power consumption. In recent years, we have also made a concerted effort to reduce considerably the amount of packaging used for shipping products to our stores. As one of the first retailers to introduce reusable shopping bags, we continue to ask our customers to reduce waste by reusing their bags.

Q: How does Roots handle its suppliers when it comes to the environment?
Sustainability is an important criterion in our choice of vendors. Although Roots cannot control the actions of its suppliers, we clearly favour those who are more eco-responsible. We have also issued directives to all our suppliers to reduce excessive, wasteful packaging.

Q: Is Roots involved with any environmental organizations?
Yes, many. Here is a partial list of organizations that Roots has supported over the years: Waterkeeper Alliance; Toronto Green Awards; Environmental Defense; David Suzuki Foundation; Tides Canada Foundation; Stop Global Warming Fund; Centre For Environmental Education (Antioch New England Graduate School), World Wildlife Fund; Canadian Wildlife Federation; Jane Goodall Institute of Canada.

Q: Can Roots do more for the environment?
Yes, and we will. While we are proud of our actions in the environmental area, we recognize there is much more to be done. We can never do enough when it comes to reducing our eco-footprint and supporting those working to protect our planet and human civilization. When it comes to the environment, we are not yet where we would like to be but every effort counts. Each one of us must take responsibility and make a difference, as there is no alternative if our earth, as we know it, is to be saved for future generations.

Q: How can I receive more information about Roots and the environment?
Please consult the other parts of the Environmental Commitment section on our website for more details. You can also contact Robert Sarner, Director of Communication and Public Affairs at Roots at 416-781-3574 or rsarner@roots.com.

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