Ruth Kelly, Founder, Weft X Warp
Prior to founding her own fabric consultancy Weft x Warp and collaborating with the innovation design collective SSEAMS, Ruth was a fabric development director at Lululemon.
Passionate about materials, Ruth is a creative fabric geek, entrepreneur, and educator. Ruth has successfully led raw materials teams in the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, across the supply chain, from performance brands to manufacturing.
Jan Beringer, Senior Scientific Expert, Hohenstein
Jan uses an interdisciplinary approach to lead the development of clothing physiology, fit and workmanship of garments, functionalization of fabrics, textile UV protection and textile reprocessing. He has extensive knowledge in textile and fiber chemistry, functionalization, nanotechnology, coating and finishing and clothing physiology.
From 2009 to 2015 he was the Head of Research and Development of the Department of Function and Care at Hohenstein, specializing in research and testing in the field. Dr. Beringer holds a Doctorate in Natural Sciences in Chemistry with a focus on Textile and Fiber Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart.
Cheryl Smyre, Director of Advanced Materials, Parkdale Mills
Cheryl leads the Parkdale Advanced Materials division, with a keen focus on the creation of new fiber and polymer technologies that deliver sustainable innovative solutions to the textile industry.
Over the past 4 years, Cheryl’s focus has centered on the CICLO® technology, a revolutionary patented chemistry that catalyzes the biodegradation of polyester and nylon at rates similar to natural fibers when they become pollutants in the environment.
During her 25-year career with Parkdale, she has led International Sales, Global Supply Chain, R&D and Customer Relations. Her International Business degree from the University of South Carolina, multi-cultural background and extensive textile manufacturing experience, have served as an asset to the company on a global scale.
Ben Galphin, Founder, Outsider Innovation
In 2019, Ben founded Outsider Innovation, bringing his background in Textiles and Engineering and years of experience in the Outdoor Apparel Industry to companies in the Textile, Apparel, and adjacent industries. Outsider Innovation works with all types of companies to build better products, make better materials, and commercialize new technologies.