Material Changes: Thriving on Shifting Ground

This year more than ever, the technology and science that go into home textiles products is critical for success and the well-being of American consumers. Material Changes, the annual conference hosted by Home Textiles Today, is the industry’s only dedicated event that looks at the latest trends in promoting better-made, sustainable, traceable and safer products that address health and wellness.


To be held virtually this year on Tuesday, November 17 from 8am – 5pm EDT, Material Changes will provide wider access for attendees who may not have been able to attend in person in previous years. And it will comprise the most-timely informational sessions that have been the hallmark of the event since its founding.  All live-streamed into your office.


Tuesday, November 17 | 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST)

8:00-8:30 a.m.: Networking

8:30 a.m.


Welcome – Jennifer Marks, Editor-in-Chief, Home Textiles Today

8:35-9:05 a.m.


The Connected Consumer
Presenter: Keith Turco, EVRYTHNG President & MD Americas
As consumer demand for transparency grows, brands and manufacturers are being held to account for how they source and produce products. EVRYTHING President Keith Turco will share how the company’s product cloud is working with businesses like Ralph Lauren, P&G and Puma to provide end-to-end insight on each product’s journey, from factory to consumer.

9:05-10:00 a.m.

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U.S. Cotton Leaps Ahead: How Brands and Stakeholders Can Get Involved – Panel Discussion

Gary Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Cotton Council of America
Marc Lewkowitz, President and CEO, Supima
April Kappler, U.S. Operations Manager, Better Cotton Initiative

New initiatives are underway to map the entirety of U.S. cotton production for complete transparency, accelerate sustainability benchmarks and amplify U.S. availability of BCI cotton. Learn more about what’s happening and how to take part from our panel of experts from the U.S. Cotton Protocol, Better Cotton Initiative and Supima.

10:00-10:15 a.m.: Networking Break

10:15-10:45 a.m. 


Textile Circularity Looks to Scale in the U.S.
Janel Twogood, Research Analyst, Accelerating Circularity
Accelerating Circularity Inc. – a new venture funded by a grant from the Walmart Foundation and operating with support from Gap Inc, Nike, Target and VF Corporation – is preparing to launch a pilot textile recycling system on the East Coast. Research Analyst Janel Twogood will share findings from the organization’s new “Research & Mapping Report” along with information about how stakeholders in the textiles supply chain can get involved.

10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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Product Claims – Opportunities and Minefields  – Panel Discussion
Presenters: Dr. Min Zhu, Technical Director for Softlines in the U.S. and Canada, SGS North America
Debra H. Taylor, Senior Director, QA and Regulatory, Hollander Sleep Products

Did you know that a product claim made online is as vulnerable to running afoul of regulations as a product claim made on a label? As innovations around cooling, antimicrobial and antiviral are pouring into the market, new testing protocols are being created to validate their attributes. Dr. Min Zhu, with SGS North America, will discuss the considerations and unintended consequences around new technologies, and Debra H. Taylor, with Hollander Sleep Products, will share the company’s product journey. 

11:30-12:30 Lunch Break

12:30-1:00 p.m.

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The Next Wave in Hospitality Linens 
Presenter: Khushboo Mittal, Manager- Product Development & Innovation, Manchester Mills

The hospitality sector’s innovations frequently pave the way for new performance products at retail. Khushboo Mittal, who heads the product development and innovations team for major hospitality manufacturer Manchester Mills (part of Guest Worldwide), will discuss key trends in arena – both pre- and post COVID.  

1:00-1:30 p.m.


Advances in Odor-Free Textiles
Presenter: Karel Williams, Director of Global Porfolio Business, DuPont

Nearly 60% of consumers anticipate spending more on cleaning and hygiene products because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Baird Global Investment Banking. Karel Williams, Director of DuPont’s Global Porfolio Business, will share exclusive research about consumer laundry habits and behaviors, why traditional laundering methods don’t always remove odors from textiles and how Intellifresh antimicrobial technology delivers odor prevention. 

1:30-2:00 p.m.


Benchmarking Sustainability: What to Aim For
Presenter: Susan Inglis, Executive Director, Sustainable Furnishings Council

When brands and suppliers talk about “sustainability,” they might not always be speaking the same language – whether they’re communicating with each other or to the consumer. Susan Inglis, Executive Director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, will talk about best practices and reaching sustainability goals as well as which product descriptions have the greatest resonance with consumers.

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.: Networking Break

2:15-3:15 p.m.

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The Vendor View
Moderator: Warren Shoulberg, Editor-at-Large, Home Textiles Today
Charles Gaenslen, CEO, Loftex Home

Jeffrey Kambak, CEO-U.S. Operations, Trident Group
Chris Marsh, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Soft-Tex International
Across the entire textiles spectrum suppliers and even some retailers are addressing products that offer sustainable, traceable and eco-friendly products. HTT Editor-at-Large Warren Shoulberg will lead a panel discussion featuring some of the latest developments from a cross-section of the industry.

3:15-4:00 p.m.


Fibers of Tomorrow … Today
Presenter: Dr. Kavita Mathur, Associate Professor of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, NC State University

While cotton and synthetics remain the backbone of the home business a number of companies are developing fibers and fabrics from all sorts of other materials, from plants like pineapples to synthetic silks. NC State University Associate Professor Kavita Mathur will discuss textiles technologies on the horizon in the next five years as well as current work being done in fibers and fabrics.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Virtual cocktail party and networking


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