Introducing Roots n Rooftops! Founder and Designer Rob MacCallum shares why he’s dedicated to building a Portland based, sustainable company–with a style all his own.
Hi Rob! Your brand is all about sustainable goods from the ground up. Tell us why that's so important to you.
I come from the sportswear industry, the fashion industry. I worked for brands like Nike, worked for brands like Adidas and I'm coming from the east coast and moved here to Portland. You can’t really design here or get in a creative space here in Portland without talking about sustainability and how important it is to build better products.
So I just really embraced that and I saw how hard it was for these bigger brands that have been doing it for a long time to really dedicate themselves to sustainability. It isn’t easy and it’s expensive. And one of the things I wanted to do is start a brand that I controlled more. I controlled not just the designs, but how things are made and where things are made. So that was a big part of me stepping back because the only way I saw that working was to build a smaller brand and just build it up with that as a foundation. That was a big part of me starting RootsNRooftops. Really focusing on waste and focusing on the content of my materials where those materials are made. But really how the design or where the designs are produced was very important for me. And I've done plenty of production overseas, all my life from Central America over to Asia or South America and I just really appreciate building products here domestically. The quality of the craftsmanship that goes into it. And I just really wanted to focus on production here in the U.S and it also helped me to control that dedication to sustainability. I'm here producing them.
Your products are functional and full of detail. Tell us what are your personal favorites?
Definitely the bags, the bandanas I've done well…that’s my nod to your local tailor. The bandana, I actually hand dyed it and I sewed it and it's my interpretation of a tie, a well-made tie. And then also going into the bags, which are produced locally. So again, I hand dye everything as with Indigo and then I have a production designer that I work with here, a creative, and he helps me build the bag. So I might have an idea and I’ll throw it to him and he tightens it up and makes it an even better idea and then produces the design. So I think all that goes into it, people really gravitate towards it.
I use this tagline “built in Portland” because defining a Portland designer is also a goal for me. I think one of the things that defines a Portland designer is someone who is building better product, a timeless product. You want to hand it down to the next generation instead of just throwing it away.
We are so glad to have you! Welcome to FLOURYSH!