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I help women who value clean beauty, health, and wellness learn how to live a clean lifestyle so they can provide a healthier, low-tox environment for their families

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limitation urges us to innovate {guest post}

Charge me for my own bag?

No thanks! I carry on my gear every time I fly because I recoil at the thought of paying for my own things all over again. Have you ever tried to limit yourself to just a carry-on bag? It is a real mental exercise to pack a small bag for multiple nights. I demand silence from my husband when I pack because I have to think so hard! Packing light means using clothing and beauty products in multiple ways. It is the limitation of space that forces my packing to a new level of creative zen.


In college, I studied studio art and learned that limitation itself is a medium. A typical studio assignment would have seemingly arbitrary guidelines like “don’t use any black in this painting,” or “use only raw graphite and an eraser.” We students would be halfway into the project before we realized what a burden the limitation was. Then, somehow, a mental breakthrough always opened new levels of our imaginations by the time we finished.

Limitation urges us to innovate.

Have you ever rerouted to a more picturesque drive because of a construction detour? Have you edited a recipe because of a sparse fridge?  Have you pulled on your sneakers for lack of the right heels only to have people compliment your style? That is what limitation does. Lack is the unexpected force that pries open our mental boxes, forcing us to creativity.


When I started making athletic jackets I lacked knowledge of the apparel industry:

I had no idea how to source wholesale fabric. Instead, I scoured Craigslist, thrift stores, and estate sales for vintage polyester and cast-off technical fabric. I even connected with a lab outside of Boulder that tests the washability and sun exposure effects on textiles for leading outdoor gear companies. They gave me a few trash bags full of fabric that was headed for the trash.


Now that I have made over 1,200 original athletic jackets I know how to get the exact fabric I want every time I design a garment, but I choose not to.

For the Vander Jackets in our originals collection (our one-of-a-kind jackets), I still find all of my fabric locally on the secondary market, in scraps and pieces. My company is celebrated for its local sourcing practices, but between you and me, I value the limited resources because it jolts my designer mind into high gear.


Limitation equals creative thoughts.

In a time of endless food, beauty, and care options the decision to self-impose wellness limitations can be the match that ignites creativity in your life. Impose some rules for yourself, or ask a friend to select some guidelines for you. Will you steer clear of three chemicals–only three–and find a new way to do beauty? Will you decide to forgo buying new clothes for your kids? For yourself? Maybe you never purchase another cleaning product, forcing yourself to learn about natural cleaning.


The health and environmental benefits of green living are valuable on their own. But it is the limitation from making good green choices that may be the most significant catalyst of creativity in your adult life.

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