100 Water Heroes: Alfredo Ferre García


Managing Director of Hilaturas Ferre

Alfredo Ferre Garcia is the Managing Director of Hilaturas Ferre, a company that turns “textile waste in to the world’s finest quality recycled yarns.” The Ferre Company was founded over 100 years ago and, in 1947, began transforming textile waste into cotton yarn. Ever since, they have been committed to pioneering sustainable materials and processes.

In 2006, they named their system of textile waste collection and recycling The Recover Upcycled Textile System which is now led by a team of experts in the textiles, fashion and sustainability fields. From its conception, The Ferre Company has held the belief that upcycling is the most effective way to sustainably transform the fashion industry. In 2017 alone, Recover saved over 43.1 billion litres of water through their upcycling initiatives.

Under the leadership of the third generation of Ferres, The Ferre Company is a key player in the sustainable and recycled textile sector. Alfredo speaks on their collaborations with important fashion stakeholders, and how using their approach has already saved massive amounts of water:

"The impact of water, electricity and chemical savings reaches very high values. Two years ago we worked with H&M and in less than five months, which was what it took us to manufacture 300 tons of clothing, they saved two million liters of water".

Alfredo is one of our #100WaterHeroes for leading Hilatura Fer and Recover in their goal to transform the fashion industry by upcycling textile waste into valuable products.

100 Water Heroes: Debra Tan


Director and Head of China Water Risk (CWR)

Debra Tan leads China Water Risk (CWR) in its mission to “foster efficient and responsible use of the China’s water resources by engaging the global business and investment communities in understanding and managing China’s water risk.” Launched in 2011, CWR has become a internationally respected institution in the water risk sector.

Prior to her involvement with water issues, Debra worked as a chartered accountant and investment banker. She has produced a number of reports for financial institutions that focus on the water risks surrounding the power, mining, agricultural and textiles industries. These reports “have been considered groundbreaking and instrumental in understanding not just China’s but future global water challenges.” Particularly notable was a report that resulted in the fashion industry nomination CWR as a finalist for the Global Leadership Awards in Sustainable Apparel. She is a renowned speaker who has delivered numerous key note addresses, as well as having been invited to join prestigious panel discussions, conferences and academic forums.

Under Debra’s leadership, CWR has focused on transforming China’s industrial and agricultural sectors to be environmentally sustainable, particularly because they are the country’s main polluters and make up over 80% of their overall water use. CWR’s long-term vision is to create “an investment and corporate universe that understands and responds to the inherent environmental and business risks of China’s water crisis, working together to ensure sustainable use of water resources.”

Debra is one of our #100WaterHeroes for leading China Water Risk as they seek to create industrial and agricultural sectors that are environmentally sustainable and water-conscious.

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100 Water Heros: Eric Firmann

Co-Founder of Re:Down

by Kelvin Trautman

by Kelvin Trautman

Eric Firmann is co-founder of Re:Down, a company that recycles down and feathers from discarded consumer goods and turns them into products such as sleeping bags, bedding and other apparel. Re:Down also up-cycles broken feathers and down fibers into effective organic fertilizers, all towards their mission of zero waste.

Eric describes passion and work with Re:Down as being a result of “the rapid evolution of mass consumption and its consequences on the environment and on our natural resources.” In Europe alone, it is estimated that annual textile waste comes up to 7,500,000 tons. Eric’s work with Re:Down is integrally linked to the global water crisis in that their recycling and zero waste focus reduces the invisible water footprint of manufacturing.

With over 20 years in the Textile industry, Eric co-founded Re:Down “in order to make this industry more sustainable and actively participate to make a better world!”

Eric’s commitment to environmental sustainability and his zero waste initiatives are why he is one of our #100WaterHeroes


Eric Firmann: linkedin.com/in/eric-firmann-817b18154

Re:Down: linkedin.com/company/re-down/


Lyon, France