Roots Canada: How To Care For Leather

Hello Darlings, A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to be part of a new handbag campaign for Roots fall 2012 collection. Roots is an iconic Canadian brand started in 1973 by Michael Budman and Don Green. Along with its beaver insignia, the brand is renowned as leaders in quality leather products.

When I moved to Canada in 1999, I remember my parents bringing me to a Roots store to purchase my first hoodie :) Ever since, Roots has been top of mind for my family when searching for leather goods, as my Dad will attest since their wallet and bag selection are my favorite gifts for Father's Day — three in the past ten years including earlier this summer.  Meanwhile my mom knows their  their shoes and handbags, which she describes as "indestructible".

I've always known that Roots provides a customer with quality leather that will wear for years and survive the daily abuse. However, I was surprised to learn that the brand recently launched a fashion line of handbags  geared towards the urban fashionista. Ladies, think structured Parisian leather purses; and a fact that is of particular interest is that Roots sources their leather from the very same tannery as Hermes.

 I AM WEARING: Diane Von Furstenberg  Roccoco Amour Jacket // Wilfred Semi-Sheer Tank // BCBG Max Azria Sabrina Lace Skirt // Roots Kristina Purse  // YSL Trooper Pumps // YSL Arty Ring

For this project, it was a pleasure to meet the Roots team behind the brand and visit their leather factory.The leather factory is located just a short drive from downtown Toronto where more than 200 people work. For the past 28 years, this factory is where Roots has been producing all of their quality leather products.

My factory tour was led by Karl Kowalewski, who is the Director of Leather Product Development & Design at Roots. Of course, given the opportunity I had to ask "How should a girl care for her leather" and here's what Karl had to say:

"In the same way that you care for your skin, you should care for leather. Take a damp cloth and gently wipe off the dirt. Then follow up with conditioning. Leather has pores and breathes, so the leather conditioner provides the necessary oils to ensure that the leather does not dry out.  Never put your damp leather near the heater as it will ruin it. Let it dry naturally. If you use your purse everyday, then give it a wash every week and condition it once every month. The way I look at it, women have relationships with your bags and love them.  You can usually tell that your purse needs a little care. Leather changes over time." 


For my very first Roots purse, I selected a classic duffle bag named Kristina. The purse was designer and handcrafted in Canada from 100% premium Italian Geranio leather and features a top zipper with one main compartment. The leather is aged to natural patina and it water resistant. With time, the leather is expected to become softer and richer. Knowing this much detail about my new purse, is a good way to establish my new relationship :)

With Love...


Images Courtesy: Steven Lee

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