Jeans thesis nominated for national prize

‘Instagram made me do it.’
Eveline Nales at her sewing machine. Own photo

The Social and Economic Council (SER) has selected three Master’s theses for the SER thesis prize. One is Eveline Nales’ thesis on recycling clothes. Nales recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen.

She found out about the SER thesis prize by chance. ‘Instagram made me do it,’ admits Nales with a laugh. ‘I was scrolling through social media and I suddenly realized I kept getting the same ad the whole time for the SER thesis prize. So I thought: why not look it up, because I reckon my topic would actually fit in with their themes. I had already completed my thesis by then and had started on my internship, but competing for a prize based on something you’d already written sounded pretty OK.’ No sooner said than done — and now her Master’s thesis is officially one of the best three in the Netherlands from the past two years.


For her Master’s thesis, Nales investigated sustainability in the clothing industry, taking jeans as an example. ‘I used the True Cost Accounting method to see whether it is a good idea to aim for as high a percentage of recycled material in new clothes as possible,’ she explains. ‘It is actually quite ironic that ads on Instagram got me to submit my thesis because I believe Instagram ads are actually a driving force behind the overconsumption of clothes.’

Nales sees sustainable clothing as an important issue and she dedicated her Bachelor’s thesis to this topic too. ‘I felt it was a shame that my supervisors would be the only people to read my thesis. This topic isn’t discussed much, even in Wageningen. So I’m pleased that more people will now hear about the issue and read my thesis.’

Jury assessment

The nominated theses will be assessed by prominent SER members Kim Putters, Tuur Elzinga and Ingrid Thijssen. The jury will announce the thesis prize winner on 20 June, during a public meeting of the Council. Her nomination means Nales is guaranteed to get at least 500 euros. The winner gets 2,000 euros.

What will she do with that money? ‘I haven’t thought about that at all. I have only just graduated, I don’t have a job yet, I haven’t got my student public transport card any more and I can’t borrow more money. So the prize money will probably go on general living expenses. I want to take my time in figuring out what I should do next, and to enjoy the summer holiday.’

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