Sr. Lead, Materials Developer - Footwear

Date: Jul 28, 2022

Location: Portland, OR, US, 97201

Company: Under Armour

Under Armour has one mission: to make you better. We have a commitment to innovation that lies at the heart of everything we do, not just for our athletes but also for our teammates. As a global organization, our teams around the world push boundaries and think beyond what is expected. Together our teammates are unified by our values and are grounded in our vision to inspire you with performance solutions you never knew you needed but can’t imagine living without.

Position Summary

We are searching for a Material Development Senior Lead to focus on and elevate Innovation through sustainability.  The Material Development Senior Lead will focus on Material Innovation but will also have opportunities to touch all parts of the brand and have access to the latest technologies and innovations. This is a highly interactive and technical development position that requires materials expertise and project leadership experience with a primary focus on bringing performance through sustainability. Qualified candidate must possess the ability to work with and interpret a diverse supply chain and internal customer network to develop dynamic, high quality materials as it relates to sustainability, ensuring all new materials align with corporate goals. Responsibilities include driving technology transfer to in-line, developing alongside best-in-class material supply partners focused on reducing environmental impact. This is an opportunity to be part of a great success story, as Under Armour builds and grows their Footwear legacy.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Drive and lead material innovation functionally and visually, evolve material processes, and influence new end-use applications for all product categories with a focus on sustainability and circularity
  • Determines, innovates, and evolves material creative philosophy and strategies consistent with Under Armour’s design ethos. Shares outcomes and provides motivation and inspiration to material staff and matrix partners, and ensures they are being led by the needs of the focused performer
  • Develop and maintain an understanding of corporate sustainability goals and values and works collaboratively with all cross- functional partners to enhance material development and group effectiveness
  • Communicate Under Armour’s philosophy to the public and strengthen ties with outside textile community through presentations and speeches
  • Lead in-season textile development while focusing on long-lead and highly engineered, material innovation pipeline that enhance sustainability efforts
  • Establish processes and practices for realizing vision, pushing the limits, and aligning aesthetics with material capabilities in terms of sustainability, functionality, aesthetically, durability, and sourcing infrastructure
  • Explore and ideate beyond the apparel/footwear industry in search of new knowledge and ideas that push and challenge the future of Footwear Innovation and circularity
  • Be a key integrator between both internal and external teams
  • Collaborate cross-functionally with Product, Design, Merchandising, Strategic Sourcing, and Sustainability teams to lead-in and determine each category’s material direction based on their business needs
  • Be able to decipher how fibers, yarns, knit and woven constructions, dyeing and finishing affect a materials aesthetic, performance, and lifecycle attributes at a high level
  • Partner with global ingredient suppliers to aid in textile development to understand how their innovation initiatives aligns with our corporate strategies
  • Communicate/visit/collaborate with our vast network of global partner mills, ingredient suppliers, and tradeshows to develop new sustainable and low-impact concepts and mine their libraries for on-trend (or future trend) textiles
  • Create strong partnerships and collaborate with the internal Materials Teams
  • Partner with our International Materials Team (based in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Panama) for both technical development and completion of textile specifications for all materials Under Armour engineers from across the globe
  • Develop textiles to an end-specification to ensure quality assurance, commercial viability, and impact to the environment of a textile through the tested and proven model
  • Collaborate with internal Innovation partners to support long-lead, high profile projects (not just limited to textiles)
  • Work with design leads to establish creative vision with synced materials that connects apparel, footwear, and accessories together with both technologies and aesthetics
  • Establish a methodological toolkit, and make sure it is shared, understood, and used throughout the team that connects back to the creative vision
  • Determine the organizational principles to build an experience we can scale and tailor across all cross-functional groups to align entire product vision making sure the product development timeline is maximized
  • Build and foster a high functioning team with the understanding of all sustainable material capabilities, and have the knowledge to research latest trends in all realms of our business; sportswear, fashion, social, consumer, macro, etc

Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills & Abilities)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Extensive knowledge and proven experience working in technical textile development and the following principles:
    • Textile development experience with familiarity and understanding of all phases of product ideation to commercialization 
    •  Natural and synthetic fiber and yarn performance attributes and manufacturing techniques 
    • Understanding of material construction and properties in knitting, weaving, and non-woven constructions 
    • Understanding of material dyeing and finishing processes
    •  Knowledge of value-added chemistries (performance enhancement) and mechanical finishes for enhanced performance  
    • End-use, product specific materials engineering 
    • Understanding of ASTM, AATCC, ISO, and JIS apparel test standards 
    • Understanding of the materials industry and vendors 
    • Conceptual, technical, and strategic understanding of footwear materials 
    • Aesthetic sense and creativity 
  • Team player – each and every day motivating others and effectively collaborating in decision-making
  • Strong communication skills; being able to communicate with both global internal/external customers and suppliers
  • Ability to work independently without rigidity and constant oversight and collaboratively within the entire organization 
  •  Strong verbal and written communication skills, including meeting facilitation and presentations 
  • Ability to network and influence internal and external resources 
  • Strong ability to effectively communicate complex and/or controversial topics and concepts to a wide and diverse audience contributing sound judgment of policy and strategy.

Education And / Or Experience

  • BS in Apparel/Footwear, Textiles, Materials Manufacturing, Design, or related field 
  • 10+ years of experience

Other Requirements

  • Location: This position is based in our Portland, OR office
  • Return To Work Designation: 3 days in office
  • Travel: Ability to travel


  • Relocation provided

At Under Armour, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information (including characteristics and testing), military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  Under Armour believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as a global company, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. 

Learn more about Under Armour’s COVID-19 response and Teammate vaccination policies here.

Nearest Major Market: Portland Oregon