Footwear Material Developer
US, Washington, Seattle, Corporate
Footwear Product Development
Who We Are:
Brooks is a team of passionate people united by a desire to do meaningful work, lead healthy lives and make a difference. We share a focused mission: to inspire everyone to run and be active. That’s it. No distractions—it’s all about the run. Through science, creativity, service, authenticity and connection, we obsess over delivering the best running gear on the planet. We do it our way, with our unique spirit, with a goal of being more relevant to runners than any other brand, day after day and mile after mile. We are determined to innovate, challenging ourselves to lead thought at every turn. Inside these walls and on the roads, tracks and trails, we live and breathe Run Happy, celebrating the positive impact running has on our lives and others. We inject it into all we do because it makes everything better, smarter, more fun and more memorable. Our company culture defines us, bonds us together and creates the conditions for success. It is lived daily as a behavioral expression of our collective set of brand values: Connect with People, Innovate for our Customer, Compete as a Team, Build Trust, Have Fun & Bring Passion, and Be Active. If you’re on our team, it means you’re part of creating something extraordinary. You’re part of Brooks.
As a Footwear Material Developer at Brooks, you will be an integral part of the Footwear Development Team driving the execution of the seasonal materials agenda through all phases of materials development. You will regularly partner with Product Developers, Designers, Product Line Managers and material vendors to achieve a common goal – making the best running footwear on the planet. You are responsible for the timely, profitable, and quality delivery of materials for Brooks Footwear. You’ll bring new materials to the team and work closely with vendors to ensure that Brooks’ footwear product goals are achieved. In this role, you’ll partner closely with the Materials Design team to create seasonal palettes that meet the needs of our growing footwear brand. You’ll be involved in the overall process of product creation from idea generation, product design, prototype development, physical testing through commercialization and production.
In this role, you’ll work across the supply chain to create materials, validate them and ensure that products can be made and commercialized with all footwear materials. As a key member of the materials team, you’ll explore, research and develop various materials including knits, woven, non-woven, synthetics and all other materials used in footwear.
- Collaborate with product teams to develop materials specifications for product functionality, durability and aesthetics, including identifying needs and researching solutions.
- Drive creation of new materials through materials calendar including pre-development. Partner on calendar creation with Materials Manager.
- Coordinate and oversee the review of materials with Asia materials testing team to ensure that all materials pass Brooks standards. Act as liaison as needed for Footwear Developers and review together as needed.
- Develop and maintain an organized materials library, complete with up-to-date materials, testing history and specifications; either within FLEX system or physical
- Continuously build advanced materials expertise and make recommendations for our products; create and build a network of contacts within the industry.
- Evaluate the risk factors associated with all material developments and communicate them to the product teams.
- Assist with advanced materials R&D projects (when needed).
- Work cross-functionally to drive goals, uncover opportunities and move materials forward within the footwear creation process.
- Manage multiple projects at a time across multiple timelines including validating materials both on and off products.
- Contribute ideas for product design, construction, materials and components to enhance functionality, aesthetics, fit and profit margins.
- Serve as the technical material resource for members of the project teams
- Evaluate new product /materials applications to improve cost, reduce environmental impact or improve quality of Brooks’ products.
- Stays abreast of new technology and competitive products by attending material and machine shows and provide recommendations from the materials perspective.
- Generate technical product creation packages to communicate intended construction and aesthetic details for each project and ensure alignment across teams. Ensure final product has a paper trail.
- Work with Wear Testing and Human Performance Lab on the testing and validation of all performance characteristics of materials from early prototypes to final confirmation.
- Collaborate with materials design to research and source materials and trims to meet all business objectives and ensure delivery of seasonal market palette.
- Partner with Asia Materials team to support as needed.
- Other responsibilities as required.
- BS in Textile Engineering, Textile Design, Materials Engineering, Textile Chemistry or related field; may be substituted with relevant work experience
- 5+ years of experience in footwear materials; bonus if experienced in footwear warp/ weft knit methods
- Solid understanding of footwear construction methods, materials, testing & evaluation techniques. Ability to understand how materials play a part in the fit and feel of performance footwear.
- Ability to analyze test information and provide subjective feedback in a concise and understandable manner
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, demonstrating effective listening through concise, clear verbal and written communication
- Excellent interpersonal skills that encourage and build trust resulting in effective working relationships across the company
- Keen attention to detail in planning, organization and execution of tasks, all the while observing the big picture and understanding how everything fits. Willingness to dive into the details.
- Ability to work professionally and effectively within the team and across departments while being able to balance multiple tasks within cross seasonal deadlines.
- Ability to anticipate how a decision made can affect our customers, our partners, our product or other departments’ operations – the ability to “connect the dots”
- Work independently and with Manager to achieve materials strategy goals.
- Curious and open minded – be open to a challenge and always looking to improve our products and processes.
- Computer proficiency with office software, MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint. Adobe Illustrator and FlexPLM
- Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed (15-25% travel time)
- Embraces and lives the Brooks values
- Passionate participation in Brooks’ sports activities a plus, overridden by the ability to understand and empathize with the runner in order to develop loyal, engaging relationships with our customers and the Brooks community.
- Unwavering demonstration of Brooks’ corporate values: Serve People, Lead Thought, Compete as a Team, Have Integrity, Be Active, Have Fun!
At Brooks, we celebrate diversity & equity. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment, and encourage people of all backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and skills to apply. Brooks is proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, the presence of a sensory, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military status, marital status, pregnancy or child birth, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, political ideology, or any other non-merit based factors.