Material Developer

Full time | Material Development
Location:Ventura Headquarters

Job Title:             Material Developer

Reports To:         Material Development Manager

Location:             Ventura, CA


General Summary

Fabrics, trims, and other raw materials are the foundation of Patagonia products and central to the Company’s mission statement of “Make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”  The Material Developer is fully responsible fora specific material category.  They will research, develop, approve and specify raw materials and material supply chains that meet Company and market needs, while adhering to our mission statement.  In addition, they understand Patagonia’s quality and performance requirements and are able to establish new requirements as new needs and opportunities are presented to the business.

Essential Job Functions

Development Overview

  • Research, develop, approve and specify seasonal materials, while adhering to the Design and Development calendar.

  • Partner with Material Supplier’s to achieve material performance and quality based on his/her evaluation of lab and field testing.

  • Prepare and present development trials to key stake holders and assure alliance with key product initiatives.

  • Ensure Texbase and PLM are complete with accurate data regarding each new material and its complete supply chain from fiber to fabric.

  • Approve only materials that are fully commercialized and ready for manufacturing, meet cost targets, and adhere to the Company’s requirements for quality, cost, environmental and social responsibility.

  • Create, negotiate and obtain supplier signatures on material specifications for each new material developed.

  • Drive category development direction in seasonal kickoff to design, and line management.

  • Proactively identify inline development needs, propose updates accordingly to design/line management.

  • Possess extensive knowledge of supply chain.


  • Identify, research and report new material and material supply chain innovations within their area of expertise.

  • Direct appropriate innovation opportunities to Advance Concepts Team.

  • Ability to identify and manage stretch innovation project/s in addition to seasonal developments.

Supply Chain

  • Develop and maintain long-term supplier relationships built on trust and integrity.

  • Establish a material supply chain strategy and partner with Production Team to align with garment supply chain strategies. 

  • Evaluate supplier’s capabilities, capacities, and their ability to develop and deliver fabric which adheres to the Company’s quality, cost, environmental and social responsibility requirements.

  • Provide feedback on supplier performance.

  • Proactively communicate cross-functionally regarding any supply chain issues, i.e. coordinating new supplier introductions, arranging intro to color team, material planning etc.

  • Proactively identify and attend appropriate trade shows/conferences and understand when there is need to bring new suppliers into company.


  • Communicate technical information to Line Management and Product Marketing Teams.

  • Provide fabric samples and information on new materials which can be added to the Company’s Material Library.

  • Prepare information to hand off to Fabric Lab to include: material hand standard, specification, material profile, development test reports and any certifications.

  • Communicate material strategies and information relevant to material cost, capacity, lead time, and minimum order quantities to Material Planning at the seasonal hand off meeting.

  • Lead and drive appropriate handoff meetings for category.

  • Ability to identify and suggest process improvements.

Quality, Specs and Testing

  • For existing product categories, develop seasonal materials to an existing specification.

  • For new product categories, research, define and gain internal agreement on material performance specifications based on a clear understanding of the function of the end product.

  • Partner with Fabric Analysts to gain a deep knowledge and understanding of Patagonia quality standards and test methods.

  • Work with the Company’s Fabric Lab to ensure that we are using the best available technologies and test methods to evaluate our materials and products.

  • Coordinate testing with external labs when necessary.

  • Ability to work with testing and standards engineer to identify any standards that need updating

  • Ability to evaluate testing needs based on total data of end use, competitive analysis etc.

Other Job Functions

  • Assist Product Developers in selecting in-line materials appropriate to the product type, end use and production location.

  • Perform market research and competitor analysis as needed.

  • Educate various internal and external groups on Patagonia materials, material supply chains, and material technology through live presentation, videos, photos, written information, and the Footprint Chronicles.

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to lift and carry boxed and rolls of fabric weighing 30 pounds, for up to 50 feet.

  • Must be able to sit for extended periods of time.

  • Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.

  • Ability to look at a computer screen for extended periods of time.

  • Must be able to travel globally utilizing various transportation methods.

Minimum Job Qualifications

  • B.A. or B.S. degree in textiles required or B.A. or B.S. degree plus 5 years’ experience in Material Development, Material Testing, or Material Sourcing role.

  • Thorough working knowledge and understanding of textiles.

  • Proven experience traveling to and working in mills and factories worldwide and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people.

  • Working knowledge of personal computers with experience in Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point and database systems.

  • Ability to gather and work with all types of digital media including photographs and video.

  • Ability to work well under pressure and deadlines with extreme attention to detail

  • Comfortable with team-based work structure; ability to remain flexible to change within the work environment and scope of responsibility while maintaining a composed and professional demeanor.

  • Demonstrates initiative, is conscientious and provides complete follow-through on areas of responsibility.

Employee Conduct
It is the responsibility of every employee to contribute to a positive work environment through cooperative and professional interactions with co-workers, customers and vendors.

Equal Employment Opportunity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other factors prohibited by law.

Equal Employment Opportunity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other factors prohibited by law.