Blowing Hot Air (A Wrongest Product Award nominee)

It may not be exactly seasonal wear in the northern hemisphere right now, what with an incoming blizzard and all, but this nominee for the Wrongest Product Awards might seem very appealing in Australia’s current record-breaking summer heat. Its impetus, however, comes not from Down Under, but from Japan in the wake of the Fukushima meltdowns and the resulting summer power shortages in which air conditioning was cut back. And at first glance, air conditioned clothing kinda makes sense: why cool entire rooms when all you really need to lower the temperature of is … yourself?


Kuchofuku’s Air-Conditioned Cooling pants feature two battery powered fans to keep your legs cool, and there’s a jacket to accompany.

But like so many of our other choices, this decision between a lot of air conditioning  and a bunch less volume to cool (albeit with questionable style) is a false dilemma. As Gizmodo writer Molly Oswaks observed last summer “pants with their own built-in A/C are not as brilliant as my sun-addled mind first thought. Because: shorts.”

Which logically leads to the next solution, also from Japan (no surprise!): just walking around in your previously nominated ad-supported underwear. At least then the ads would be visible.

Previous Wrongest Product Award nominations

The Wrongest Product Awards will go to those products (and their designers) that embody the least amount of redeeming value while incurring the use of unnecessary, often gratuitous, materials or energy.

How is this relevant to EcoOptimism, you might ask? Easy – it shows how extraneous so many products are, often in a “what-were-they-thinking” sense.

Nominations are open. Send yours to ImNotBuyinIt (at)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.