Thursday, November 5, 2009

Eco Citizen - Eco Fabulous

San Francisco Boutique Pique
Here’s the thing: Eco Citizen has been open since 2007, and even though I must have walked by it a hundred times on jaunts up and down Polk Street, I’d never ventured inside until now. I’ve been missing out! Inside, the space has the bright, airy feel of a gallery with its white walls and light wood floors. It’s minimalist in the best kind of way, providing a clean backdrop to some seriously amazing pieces. Walking by the storefront, I’d expected to come across basics in materials like organic cotton and bamboo, but I was pleasantly surprised once I ducked inside—Eco Citizen offers a lot more than that.

Shoes, accessories, clothing—every product in the store is eco-friendly and sustainably sourced and fashioned. True to its eco-friendly conceit, Eco Citizen features local designers including Sarah Shepherd, Josh Podoll, Sust, Jules Elin and Jen Darling. One favorite find was a garment bag by Jen Darling, whose entire line is fashioned out of vintage textiles; the one I admired was gray canvas with a funky ink spatter print. I also adored the cotton disco tops by Sust with their swingy shape, just-right drape and bright colors—hello, neon yellow!

The first real surprise, however, was a Linda Loudermilk organic cotton tee, in a classic slim-fitting shape, washed in eco-friendly metallic ink. The wash gave the tee some heft and texture and the result was a classic with edge: elegant under a blazer, perfection on its own. The second big surprise was the selection of elegant cocktail dresses in sumptuous fabrics, in jewel tones and basic black, with fantastic details like asymmetrical cuts, exposed zippers, cutout backs and oversized bows.

The jewelry display at the counter showcases an array of beautiful, quirky pieces, but what caught my eye most were the wood rings by Bay Area designer J. Fein Designs, which feature whimsical toppers like a gold butterfly, a cluster of white cloisonné flowers, and an inch of dangling gold mesh anchored by a graphic square design. Each ring is one of a kind, made with sustainably harvested wood and reclaimed (sometimes vintage) accents. If I’d known that Eco Citizen was so eco chic, I never would have waited so long to venture in!

Eco Citizen is hosting Local 415, a show featuring local designers, in-store on November 5th. Sign up for the mailing list on their web site for an invite.

Eco Citizen
1488 Vallejo St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

Tuesday-Saturday 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m.– 6:00pm

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