Materials Developer


Creative and IT

Job listing link
Applications Close - End of Day: 28-02-2019


New Zealand

Work type:

Progressive by Nature

Are you obsessed with innovation, with exploring new alternatives and making headway where others fail to see the opportunity?

Do you have that natural instinct and ability see things differently, see beyond the surface and examine the finer details that make all the difference? Curious by nature? A seeker of knowledge? A challenger of the status quo’s?

Then this could be the move you’ve been looking for; the move to natural.

The apparel industry needs a shake-up. At icebreaker, we’ve always believed in the pursuit of better, inspired by nature to create sustainable natural performing apparel solutions. Sustainability isn’t just a campaign, it’s a feature of our business. As the first purpose-led acquisition of VF Corporation we have never been better placed to drive a global movement for nature, and for the betterment of our species and the planet.

As Materials Developer located in our global head office in Auckland, New Zealand, you’ll be our fiber and natural materials guru, seeking to explore all the possibilities for innovation within performance fabrics with a focus on natural and sustainable alternatives. Naturally progressive in your thinking, you will research, create, develop and commercialise materials to deliver the seasonal sufficiency across concepts, franchises and new product development. You will be driven to push the boundaries while still meeting time limits, standards and brand requirements. 

We’re a non-stuffy, non-bureaucratic group of humans who have the ability to flip from the end-state planning to the here and now of agile opportunities.

Working alongside other passionate, authentic and adventurous people, you will share your insights with the wider business to help achieve results. You will lead and collaborate on testing to explore potential within the product range, as well as the products’ performance for the consumer, helping to create compelling natural performing product concepts that educate, enable and empower our customers to move to natural for all their outdoor performance apparel needs. In this role you will report directly to Global Head of Product Development.

In this role as Materials Developer,you’ll be responsible for:

  • Working closely with Product Design and Development teams to source and develop innovative performance textiles that meet aesthetic, quality, price, minimum and lead times required attached to clearly articulated design and category briefs
  • Establish, strengthen and maintain relationships with textile mills, fabric suppliers and our manufacturing partners in order to meet the ongoing requirements for innovative materials that support our performance position. Leverage the R&D departments of our partners to maximize speed and efficiency in the development of new materials
  • Manage new fabric development process in line with Icebreaker’s Sourcing strategy, ensuring Icebreaker standards, fabric construction requirements and critical timelines are met
  • Attend relevant Trade Shows and Fabric Exhibits to develop a broad-based understanding of the supply base, trends, and developments in performance fabrics with a focus on natural and sustainable alternatives

Who you are:

  • 8+ years experience in similar materials development role for multi-channel manufacturing company 
  • Strong understanding of lifestyle apparel design combined with technical apparel fabrication and construction know-how 
  • Good understanding of the lifestyle apparel business model combined with that of sporting goods/outdoor  
  • Experience developing performance-oriented apparel fabrics with offshore manufacturing partners to a target cost 
  • Demonstrable leadership capability, including proven success in motivating teams and other colleagues to achieve results in an entrepreneurial, unstructured environment 
  • High level of computer literacy and an affinity for technology; proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PLM/PDM solutions

Does this sound like you?

  • Exceptional communication skills with all levels and cultures within an organisation 
  • Flawless attention to detail and the ability to stay on track 
  • Mastery of time management, prioritising personal and team workload to always deliver on-time, in-full  
  • Curious, with a global understanding and outlook, and strong desire to continually learn and evolve 
  • A Brand Ambassador who is drawn in by our story and inspired by the authenticity and uniqueness of our brand 
  • Someone who seeks out challenges and proactively solves problems 
  • A highly collaborative team player and team builder; an effective influencer and leader 
  • Always follows projects through, holding themselves and others accountable for completion 

If this opportunity feels like the type of job you’re passionate about, and it fits with your skills and experience, please apply online with your CV with a covering letter. Applications close Sunday 3rd February 2019.

The recruitment of this position is being managed by Philippa Irvine, Talent Scout. For any queries, contact Philly directly on +64 21 564 691 or email