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7 products nobody asked for in 2018

From a $42 bundle of sticks to a tiny phone for your phone.

Sarah Lawrence for Vox

2018 was, by all accounts, a fairly absurd year. Elon Musk launched a car into space, Kanye West endorsed Donald Trump, and who can forget Central Park’s hot duck? And that absurdity carried over into the stuff brands attempted to sell us.

Things like, for example, an Alexa-enable microwave, a luxe scrunchie, and a bundle of sticks — the kind of stuff that made us here at The Goods sit up and say, “Wait, but why?” Here are seven products 2018 gave us that we never asked for.

A single scrunchie for $120

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Elegant Scrunchies back in stock today.

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Resurrecting ’90s fashion trends is not new, but making them inaccessible is, which is exactly why this $120 scrunchie from Sophie Buhai doesn’t fit in with the growing market of nostalgia products. A scrunchie is supposed to be delightfully adolescent, not, as Buhai told Vogue, “mature so that a more polished woman could wear it without feeling like a millennial — or a polished millennial could wear it.” Like Clueless, this remake is unnecessary and just seems kind of rude.

A tiny phone meant as a companion for your ... actual phone

Did you ever wish your phone had its own little buddy, like a pet or a younger sibling? Probably not. But that didn’t stop Verizon from releasing the Palm, a miniature version of a smartphone meant to keep you off said smartphone. The thinking is that if you buy a Palm, you can leave your phone and all its distractions behind.

This would maybe make sense if the Palm had limited functions, but it doesn’t. It can do everything your smartphone can do: receive calls, texts, and emails, post to social media, take high-quality pictures. However, the phone does offer what they call Life Mode, which “silences incoming calls and notifications every time the screen is off, unless you’re on a call, streaming music or using GPS.” But who’s going to do that?

A $42 bundle of sticks

Unnecessary knickknacks are kind of Anthropologie’s thing — some golden scissors here, a stuffed narwhal there. And for the most part, I’m totally on board with this, as items like that are pretty much the only things I can afford in the store.

But there is something insulting about a $42 bundle of sticks. Most of the time when you look at something and say, “I could make that,” that’s only partly true. But when it comes to this, literally anyone could make this, just by stepping outside.

The product garnered lots of criticism on Twitter, with tweeting, “Stick. A branch or shoot of a tree or shrub that has been cut or broken off; Sticks. Branches or shoots of a tree or shrub that you can currently purchase for $42.” Regardless, it did sell out.

Some extremely destroyed “jeans”

The logic of “why would you buy pants with holes in them” seems very grandparent-y until you see these Carmar “Extreme Cut Out” jeans and find yourself thinking the same thing. Comprised little more than belt loops, a button, and pockets, these jeans ring in at $128. Carmar’s Instagram shows a number of models sporting the “pants” in the desert and at carnivals. And although the jeans were most likely made with Instagram influencers in mind, even the most heavily filtered models could not obfuscate how ridiculous they are.

A microwave you can talk to

In some ways, you want to applaud the self-awareness of the Alexa-enabled microwave. Amazon took a regular-ass microwave and made it Alexa-enabled (casually allowing you to also order stuff from Amazon through it) so that they could Trojan horse it into your home. The Goods’ Kaitlyn Tiffany called the device “an inexpensive entry point, an easy graduation gift, a staple that sometimes needs replacing”: It seems harmless but actually is just one more way Amazon is seemingly trying to implant Alexa into every kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.

Some truly upsetting bootcut jeans

Included in Balenciaga’s spring lookbook, these jeans are something many of us hope stay in the realm of high fashion. Most of us first became aware of them when GQ published the article “Boot-Cut Jeans Are Making a Comeback,” writing that “nostalgia works in cycles, so it was only a matter of time.” The article was met with an onslaught of Opinions. One tweet read, “our society is crumbling,” and another, “i’m calling the police.” Public outcry would seem to dictate that these jeans should stay a relic of the past.

And speaking of terrifying denim ...

In the extremely anxiety-inducing article “The Countdown to Low-Rise Jeans Has Begun,” Cut reporter Sarah Spellings writes that designers Linder, IAMGIA, and even Tom Ford have been integrating low-rise denim into their runway collections. Of course, reactions to this were strong and mostly negative.

However, according to the Cut, the trend is predicted to really take flight in 2020, so we’re all safe for a bit longer.

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