Monday, May 10, 2010

Roots; a Canadian Eco-Option

*update on the Great Canadian Yoga Stretch, Yoga every day challenge for CNIB. Thank you very much to those who have reached out and sponsored me! I'm so proud of the funds I've been able to raise so far for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind! Day 10 of Yoga every day and I've been trying new Yoga things- such as an intro to Anusara on Yogaglo and this week I'm going to my first Mysore practice!! If you'd like, please check out my donation page, I would love to raise more! :)

Although I don't *need* any more yoga clothing, I'm always on the lookout for viable alternatives to Lulu. I do enjoy 'Karma' and 'Tonic' as they are Canadian made and have some sustainable fabrics, currently in Halifax they are hard to come by and a bit pricey. (Bhavana Yoga Lifestyle carries them- in the city? you should totally check out the fab space!).

The other day, while at the mall (ack!) trying to add to Andrew's impoverished t-shirt collection (um, 5 is not enough), I caved and entered Roots. Like most other stereotypical 'Canadian eh' lines, I kinda shudder at what Roots has represented over the years. 

While at the Canadian Pavilian at Disney World, I was a bit taken aback that all merchandise was Roots (including weird raccoon tail hats... Davey Crocket style- wasn't he American?).  There may be some stereotypical 'Canadian' aspects to our culture (ahem, I got a lot of comments on my polite 'pardon?' while bartending, and our accent is definitely softer), but raccoon hats?? I got asked once by a Floridian if we had cable TV in Canada... in my igloo. No joke.

In any case, I had heard that they had fantastic eco-yoga gear. I was ready to 'poo-poo' the whole thing but.... well wouldn't ya know they actually rock!

Although not everything Roots is sustainable, and not everything is made in Canada (sadly, not very much is made in Canada anymore at Roots), they do offer some pretty darn great eco-options. Including these comfy, soft organic cotton shorts that are perfect for yoga!

Upon further perusal of their website we find some open and honest explanations regarding their outsourcing to the East along claims that their work ethics and environment are monitored by a magical 'third party' (ok, sorry for the cynicism... I'm being picky I know).

According to their site, most recently renovated Roots stores are 'greenified' using sustainable flooring, low VOC paints, energy efficient lighting, non-toxic water based glues and minimizing garbage waste.

They also partake in greener shipping, using zerofootprint to offset their shipping carbon emissions (decreasing use of carbon shipping vehicles would be better....but this is a fabulous start).

They also use vegetable leather tanning (if you're not a vegan!), which is pretty neat. However, leather purses like that kinda creep me out...

Recently Roots has announced that they have raised over 200,000$ for the Stop Global Warming Fund, from selling custom bracelets made from scrap leather. They also support a ridiculous long list of environmental and social causes and are very involved with community building (Roots and Shoots with Jane Goodall Institute).

The only downside, is that their shopping website really doesn't specify a lot of 'eco' or sustainable options, when I know for a fact that their actual stores (in Canada) have many shorts, shirts and even dresses in organic cotton and bamboo. For example- my shorts are made from Organic cotton, but couldn't that specification on their website. Weird.

So how do their shorts pan out after a yoga test? Fabulously. They look flattering (which says a lot for shorts and my insecurity about my legs), move well during my practice and are super comfy (please disregard the weird face and bent in knee lol). I don't need a new top... but I wish I had checked out Roots prior to shopping at Lulu a couple of years ago...


article and photos copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. You are too adorable! I love your wee goddess necklace. :)

  2. Great review and so wonderful to see your pretty face! Hope you are well!

  3. good to know, I'm always curious where to find (accessible!) options to balance out my lulu addiction- eep!

  4. I LOVE those shorts! They look so comfy and flattering. Good job on the research!

  5. i personally apologize for the ignorance of all americans of the us variety.

  6. @emma: haha, I'm sorry if it was a bit strong, I've met many LOVELY Americans :)

    I also know that there are quite a few obnoxious Canadians... :)

  7. Roots also sells those Second Yoga Jeans that we all love ( At least those are made in Canada (Montreal)!

    My latest fave yoga bottoms, I must admit, are those lululemon organic cotton Wonder Unders. Very soft and comfy. But not made in Canada.

    Wonder if it's better to buy, say, a bamboo or cotton item made in China... or a synthetic item made in the US or Canada... Should we support biodegradability or democracy? Best if both but sometimes there is a choice between eco- and social-consciousness, no?


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