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Wasteful World: Study reveals we don’t wear 82% of closet contents

Movinga reveals the world’s most deluded countries in a bid to highlight our collective issues with waste and hoarding

  • CanadaSwitzerland and Belgium suffer the biggest lapse in judgement on their consumption levels
  • The USA wastes the most food, however Switzerland is the most deluded about their grocery shopping waste
  • Russians are the most realistic when it comes to their habits

Relocation experts Movinga have released a study revealing the collective delusion we face as a society when it comes to hoarding and waste. Formed as part of a larger study on relocation trends to be released later this year, Movinga conducted a poll among 18,000 heads of households in 20 countries comparing individual’s perception on how much they own versus how much they actually use, to reveal the level of cognitive dissonance we live in. The results reveal that individuals are unable to perceive their own part in the global issues we face in terms of over-consumption and waste generation. Movinga hopes that this study can raise consciousness and spark a discussion on how we as individuals can do our part to help reduce wastage.

“At Movinga, we are personally invested in ways to make the moving process more effective and less stressful for our customers, however we are becoming increasingly aware of our responsibility towards the world we live in”, says Finn Age Hänsel, Managing Director at Movinga. “With the oceans becoming ever more polluted with plastic, and the fast fashion industry bigger than ever, it’s time to start encouraging individuals to reconsider whether they really need more stuff.”

Methodology: We first polled 18,000 heads of households in 20 countries with the following questions: What percentage of your wardrobe hasn’t been worn in the last 12 months?; What percentage of your grocery shopping ends up as waste?; Since your most recent move, what percentage of your transferred belongings are still not in use? We then collated the responses with data from the World Bank and other academic studies on the topic.

The study revealed that USA comes in place 16 with an average delusion of 22.67%, an average delusion of 39% for clothes that people think they wore during a year, an average delusion of 9% for food waste, and 20% for relocation. Overall, Russia was the country with the lowest level of delusion with 3.33% and Switzerland had the highest with 26.33%.

The full study allows the responses to be filtered based on these categories for a more in-depth exploration of the findings. You can find the original tables on Movinga’s website :https://www.movinga.de/en/wasteful-world-delusion-reality

 

Rank
Country
Percentage Average Delusion
What percentage of your wardrobe hasn’t been worn in the last 12 months?
What percentage of your grocery shopping ends up as waste?
Since your most recent move, what percentage of your transferred belongings are still not in use?
Perceived Value
Researched Value
Delusion Percentage
Perceived Value
Researched Value
Delusion Percentage
Perceived Value
Researched Value
Delusion Percentage
1
Russia
3.33%
47%
53%
6%
5%
6%
1%
8%
11%
3%
2
Sweden
9.33%
28%
58%
30%
10%
8%
-2%
12%
12%
0%
3
France
11.40%
55%
68%
13%
5%
14%
9%
6%
18%
12%
4
Japan
12.33%
38%
72%
34%
2%
4%
2%
5%
6%
1%
5
Austria
13.33%
39%
65%
26%
10%
13%
3%
6%
17%
11%
6
Poland
13.33%
38%
67%
29%
10%
12%
2%
8%
17%
9%
7
Brazil
14.00%
43%
76%
33%
4%
8%
4%
6%
11%
5%
8
Mexico
14.33%
33%
64%
31%
6%
13%
7%
7%
12%
5%
9
Finland
14.67%
31%
62%
31%
5%
11%
6%
5%
12%
7%
10
Spain
15.33%
42%
76%
34%
5%
8%
3%
8%
17%
9%
11
Denmark
15.67%
29%
74%
45%
10%
4%
-6%
8%
16%
8%
12
Netherlands
16.00%
38%
71%
33%
5%
8%
3%
6%
18%
12%
13
Norway
17.33%
36%
77%
41%
10%
7%
-3%
7%
21%
14%
14
Germany
18.13%
32%
64%
32%
6%
12%
6%
5%
21%
16%
15
Italy
20.33%
28%
81%
53%
8%
13%
5%
11%
14%
3%
16
USA
22.67%
43%
82%
39%
15%
24%
9%
15%
35%
20%
17
UK
23.33%
34%
73%
39%
5%
15%
10%
10%
31%
21%
18
Belgium
23.67%
26%
88%
62%
10%
14%
4%
10%
15%
5%
19
Canada
24.00%
39%
79%
40%
10%
21%
11%
10%
31%
21%
20
Switzerland
26.33%
26%
79%
53%
5%
18%
13%
9%
22%
13%

 

Further findings include:

Belgium has the highest delusion percentage for clothing at 62% (they thought they hadn’t worn 26% of their wardrobe in the last year but they actually hadn’t worn 88%), and Russia has the lowest at 6% (47%; 53%).

Switzerland has the highest delusion for grocery shopping waste at 13% (they thought they wasted 5% of food bought but they actually wasted 18%), and Denmark has the lowest, with a negative delusion of -6% (they thought they wasted 10% but only wasted 4%).

The UK has the highest level of delusion when it came to belongings in use after moving at 21% (they thought10%, the reality was 31%), and Sweden has the lowest at 0% (they thought 12%, and they were correct.)

The USA has the highest levels of actual food waste with 24% of their weekly shop going to waste each week, the highest levels of unused belongings (35%), and the second highest percentage of unworn clothes (82%)

The final results of the full study can be seen here : https://www.movinga.de/en/wasteful-world-delusion-reality

Methodology

To conduct this study, 18,000 heads of households in 20 countries were polled with the following questions: What percentage of your wardrobe hasn’t been worn in the last 12 months?; What percentage of your grocery shopping ends up as waste?; Since your most recent move, what percentage of your transferred belongings are still not in use?

1000 in the USA – 2000 in Germany – 2000 in France – 1500 in Sweden – other Countries in the study between 500 and 800 participants – We polled only head of households from 22 to 60 years old – margin of error is +/- 5%

Afterwards, the results were compared with the data from specialists in the field of waste and hoarding. Interviewing 20 families comprising of two adults and two children as well as 10 single households about their behaviour regarding the topic of wasting and hoarding.

For the clothing, they took an inventory of the participants’ closet; then follow the daily use during a period of 12 months to record how many things in the wardrobe they didn’t use at all during the past year.

In terms of how much food people throw away, the participants were asked to keep track of their wasting habits during a period of six months – in doing so, they had to take into account grocery shoppings that went directly to the bin as well as leftovers.

The unused stuff was determined in an one-time interview where the interviewer took a tour through the participant’s house (including the attic and basement). Together, they counted the things which hadn’t been used in the last 12 months with the exception of pieces of art and other decoration which is for display only.

 

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