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. 


Preview the Agenda that is in development by the HTT team.


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

8:30 a.m.

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

8:35-9:05 a.m.

Material Changes: The Big Picture
Home Textiles Today sets the stage for an overview of how technology and product development have risen to new heights to address the unprecedented needs of the pandemic era. Hear what the industry has done so far and the extraordinary things now in development for the future.

9:05-10:00 a.m.

U.S. Cotton Leaps Ahead: How Brands and Stakeholders Can Get Involved – Panel Discussion
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 happened and how to take part from our panel of experts from the U.S. Cotton Protocol, Better Cotton Initiative, Supima and Oritain.  

10:05-10:35 a.m.

Textile Circularity Looks to Scale in the U.S.
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. Project Fellow Sarah Coulter 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.

10:35-11:00 a.m. 

Networking Break

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Product Claims – Opportunities and Minefields  – Panel Discussion
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, SGS North America’s Technical Director for Softlines in US & Canada, will discuss the considerations and unintended consequences around new technologies. She will be joined by a client, who will share their product journey. 

12:00-12:30 p.m.

Health & Wellness 
Perhaps the number one new development in home textiles is the rush to develop products that offer personal health and wellness qualities. This discussion will present the latest in what’s available and what’s coming next from innovators in other areas of textiles. 

12:30-1:00 p.m.

Advances in Odor-Free Textiles
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. 

1:00-1:30 p.m.

It’s Organic
The term “organic” has been kicked around the industry for decades but it’s taken on new relevance – and credibility – today. Learn who is in the forefront of developing organic products and how to make sure you are getting the real deal. 

1:30-2:00 p.m.

Networking Break

2:00-3:00 p.m.

The Vendor View
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.

3:00-3:30 p.m.

Fibers of Tomorrow … Today
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. An expert from The Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University will discuss textiles technologies on the horizon in the next five years as well as current work being done in fibers, fabrics and finishes.

3:30-4:00 p.m.

Material Changes 2025
What will the home textiles industry’s products look and feel like, where will they be made, what will they be made of and what will consumers be demanding in five years?

4:00-4:30 p.m.

Virtual cocktail party and networking

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