I once had a goal to give a TED talk. (Or at bare minimum, a TEDx talk.)
Since I firmly decided last winter that maintaining a laundry list of goals was not getting me anywhere fast, I crossed TED off the list along with dozens of other items. They faded gracefully into intentional oblivion; goals left unachieved, yet no longer desired. I could focus again on the work that mattered instead of chasing the byproducts of someone else’s definition of success.
As luck would have it, I got the chance to give my own TED(ish) talk a few months later, when I was prompted by a fellow classmate to share my material story to post-millennials. Working against a strict deadline, I didn’t have time to prepare nor practice. Instead of using a slideshow and headset and clicker, I rolled out of bed at 7AM, put on my *superhuman outfit* (mom’s blazer) and let the iPhone camera roll for a few minutes. A true MVP (as in minimum viable product, not most valuable player 😉). Therein lies the beauty in growing up in the Internet era — we can make whatever we want!
I’m over the moon to present what I can only hope is the first of many fake TED talks to come:
In the future, physical products will be made, purchased, used, returned, and ultimately “unmade” into new raw materials, in order to start the process all over again.
We may never reach that future if companies’ efforts are distracted by creating more and more products today, at quality levels so low that a vast majority of new items will be unconsciously thrown away and added to a landfill, or even consciously incinerated (🔥) to save space.
Did we ask for these products? You get to choose.
The video is admittedly rudimentary but the goal remains the same: to help people — in this case, impressionable-yet-compassionate teenagers — see that companies pay a lot of money to get them to think and act a certain way. The amount of options continues to overwhelm, BUT we do have the power within us to choose, if only we realize and accept it.
Due to lack of planning time, I shared only what I knew: some habits I’ve learned, adopted and refined over the years on my way to building a wardrobe that is more conscious, and at the same time more personal and lasting. If one person watches the video and decides to get off shopping autopilot and start building and finessing his or her own conscious closet, this was worth sharing.
For the record, the best way for me to turn off the noise of the *new and exciting* product adverts was to just go cold turkey for a year. Feel free to join me in creating your own version of the #NoNewStuff challenge if you dare.