Fashion Journalism School News Eco Spotlight: Eco Citizen Boutique Review



Deeply rooted in eco-friendly and socially responsible living, Eco Citizen is the most recent addition to the green-ism lifestyle and the new kid on Russian Hill’s popular shopping block. Owner Joslin Arsdale has created a store dedicated to promoting conscious consumerism by offering high-quality goods made with organic, fair trade, and recycled goods, as well as sweat-shop free garments and accessories.

Arsdale hosted a grand opening party on October 19 featuring local labels Del Forte, Turk & Taylor, Kelly B., and Academy of Art University alum Sara Shepherd ( In addition to beautiful, eco-friendly fashion and accessories, Arsdale offered organic beer, wine, and hors d’ourves to the packed house. Shepherd created a capsule collection out of organic, eco-friendly materials for Eco Citizen and will be doing so each season going forward. “Traditionally, organic fashion is quite casual, so when Joslin and I discussed garments for her shop we decided to re-fabricate some of the key pieces in my main Spring/Summer ’08 collection, which is sharply tailored and classically cut,” said Shepherd. “In the collection for Eco Citizen, the garments are made of organic fabrics. They are sweatshop free, produced locally in San Francisco with fair labor practices.”

Michael Carbaugh, a fellow Academy of Art University graduate, collaborates with Shepherd on the styling for photoshoots, as well as with Arsdale with art direction and visuals. “After having worked with Michael in New York in 2005, it’s great to be able to work together again on this exciting new project,” said Shepherd.

Shepherd’s original collection – the non-organic line – will be available for purchase at MAC in Hayes Valley next season, while her organic line will continue to be sold at Eco Citizen. Although the organic line was made from the same inspiration and ideas as the original fall line, doing the re-fabricating in organic fabrics was a challenge. As her line expands, Sara will definitely be keeping busy. “Being a small label, I still do all the pattern making and sewing of samples,” she said, “but we’ve had some amazing Academy of Art University interns working with. Learning to delegate has been key for me this past season!”

Eco Citizen, 1488 Vallejo St., 415-614-0100,