Cary, NC, July 6, 2022 – More than 450 participants from 18 countries made in-person connections and gained innovative insights into the segment’s future at the World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago.
INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, reported strong attendance and activity at its 16th WOW conference, June 27-30. Highlights included a powerful conference, award presentations, a separate 1.5-day WIPES Academy training course, and a new mentorship program.
WOW speakers focused on the future of the $17 billion wipes sector amid changing consumer trends, supply chain complexities, sustainable packaging demands, and medical disinfection challenges. Program sessions included Circular and Sustainable Wipes, Supply Chain Challenges, Sustainable Substrates, Disinfection Concerns, Sustainable Packaging Trends, and Flushability Developments.
Tony Fragnito welcomed participants in his new role as INDA President for the first time since succeeding Dave Rousse, now President Emeritus and advisor.
“WOW is the nexus for wipes professionals to convene and connect,” said Fragnito. “With powerful content addressing the key issues facing the industry – sustainability, economics, and supply – the conference was highly valued by participants to advance their businesses and the industry.”
The event drew many positive remarks from participants for its business, networking and educational value:
“We’re pleased with the networking, and our exposure to new business at WOW,” said Darrell Dean, Program Manager, O’Neal, Inc.
“The World of Wipes always offers value for us every year. It’s never redundant. I wouldn’t miss it,” said John Patton, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Althea Laboratories.
“Everyone in the wipes industry is here. It’s easier to do business with people once we’ve met during the conference,” said Olivia Reiber, Product Line Manager, Specialties, US&C, Berry Global.
“Everything and everyone here is in and about wipes. I’m glad I’m here,” said Susan Faile, Berkshire Corporation, VP Operations/Global R&D.
Networking events included an industry welcome reception, two evening receptions, daily breakfasts, and social breaks.
Participants connected face-to-face during the Welcome Reception atop the 22nd floor at the Vu Rooftop Bar, with stunning views and refreshments. The WOW event attracted 50 tabletop exhibits to create commerce with meaningful relationships throughout the entire wipes supply chain.
WOW highlights included the announcement of Nice’ N CLEAN® SecureFLUSH™ Technology Flushable Wipes from Nice-Pak as the winner of this year’s World of Wipes Innovation Award® for their flushable wipes made of 100 percent cellulose nonwoven. Strong and durable, the product breaks apart five times faster than the leading brand of two-ply toilet paper. A specialty “lock and key” design of plant-based fibers and formula leverages patent-pending technology to ensure responsible care of plumbing and wastewater.
The World of Wipes Innovation Award® recognizes and rewards innovation within the entire wipes value chain that expands the use of nonwovens through new fabrics or technologies.
Other highlights included the presentation of the 2022 INDA Lifetime Technical Award to
Richard Knowlson, Principal, RPK Consulting. The award honors an individual with a long-established nonwovens career that advance technology and the commercial success of the North American nonwovens industry.
Knowlson pioneered the use of powder super absorbents in airlaid forming systems creating new period product designs for ultra-thin products. He co-founded Airformed Composites, co-invented the first commercial multi-bonded airlaid products in North America that were used in characters for Sesame Street and served in leadership positions with Rayonier, Ciba/Huntsman and Jacob Holm.
Preceding the conference, Chris Plotz, INDA, Director of Education and Technical Affairs, conducted INDA’s WIPES Academy, the first and only comprehensive wipes training for the entire wipes supply chain.
INDA announced that WOW 2023 will be held July 17-20, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia. For information, visit www.worldofwipes.org and follow #Wipes23 on Twitter.