Director, Raw Materials Innovation - Materials & Manufacturing



Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posted on Tuesday, November 7, 2023
who are we
lululemon is an innovative performance apparel company for yoga, running, training, and other athletic pursuits. Setting the bar in technical fabrics and functional design, we create transformational products and experiences that support people in moving, growing, connecting, and being well. We owe our success to our innovative product, emphasis on stores, commitment to our people, and the incredible connections we make in every community we're in. As a company, we focus on creating positive change to build a healthier, thriving future. In particular, that includes creating an equitable, inclusive and growth-focused environment for our people.
about this team

The Raw Materials Innovation team is the driving force behind transforming the future guest experience through advanced innovation principles and material science. We go beyond conventional research and development methodologies to explore boundless possibilities for the body and mind. Our mission is to innovate new materials and manufacturing techniques, create guest experiences they didn't know they wanted, and engineer groundbreaking sensations and functionality in our materials. We lead the industry in creating sustainable materials. We are looking for someone like you to spearhead short, mid, and long-term projects by defining the 'state of the art', leading research, generating unique insights, creating prototypes, and proving principles.

a day in the life

Every day in your role as Director, Raw Materials Innovation is dynamic and exciting. You begin your day by reaching out to consultants, vendor partners, academia and labs in Asia and Europe to track the progress of new materials being developed. Then, you dive into team meetings, collaborate with polymer and chemistry innovation teams, research and sweat-testing teams, and catch up on the status of requests sent to research and manufacturing partners overseas. Your inbox is filled with data from trials on a new material you're excited about. You engage your teammates and cross-functional partners to elevate your ideas. You may find yourself in the library or exploring the internet for inspiration, and your phone might ring with a meeting request to explain the exceptional breathability of a new fabric your team developed. You help a teammate solve a complex yarn combination problem, and you jump on a conference call to foster collaboration among your vendor partner, a technology company, and a research institute. By the end of the day you've achieved your goals, set new ones, and contributed to changing the world in your unique way.

key responsibilities

  • Develop new ideas and concepts to the Raw Materials Innovation roadmap
  • Collaborate with leading machinery manufacturers and technology companies to enhance our materials' functionalities
  • Stay tuned to business needs and macro and micro trends, and bring your insights to the team
  • Execute minor, major, and platform-level projects from start to finish
  • Ownership of projects, make decisive decisions while considering the overall project and resource implications, and think globally in your actions
  • Analyze problems, gathering data, consulting others, making informed decisions, and communicating effectively
  • Collaborate within Raw Materials Innovation team and also with leaders from Merchandising, Design, RM Development & Product Development to develop Raw Materials Strategic Road Maps
  • Ensure cross-functional teams are educated about raw materials' functionality in relation to feel, function, and aesthetics. Seek industry experts for specialty skills and knowledge related to textiles and non-textile materials.
  • Create a team structure that drives best-in-class material innovations and maintains our leadership position. Support your team's development, nurture their visions and goals, and groom the next generation of innovators.
  • Initiate sustainable raw materials and processes that drive significant environmental and social/economic results, changing the world for the better
  • Actively participate in global organizations with shared objectives and causes
  • Attend various conferences and seminars, keeping your cross-functional team informed about the latest trends and innovations. Identify early startups and research groups with the potential to become valuable partners for us.
  • Establish a network of technical experts, researchers in academia and industry, and collaborate with machinery manufacturers to realize innovative solutions
  • Unwavering focus on detail throughout the entire process, always keeping the guest in mind 

  • Master's degree or PhD in Textiles or Materials, Manufacturing Sciences, or an allied field with a strong emphasis on textiles or manufacturing
  • 10-15 years of experience in the apparel industry, specifically in fiber, textiles, or materials
  • 7-10 years of proven management experience, leading teams and shaping business strategies
  • Experience working on-site with manufacturers worldwide and a strong understanding of supply chain operations
  • Proven team player with expertise in cross-functional team dynamics and requirements
  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral, with a knack for presenting findings to both scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • A strong desire for continuous education within the textile and related industries
  • An innate spirit of innovation, with a solution-focused mindset
  • Leadership skills that enroll others in your vision
  • An analytical and critical thinking mind, experienced in problem-solving and interpreting test results
  • Experience in creating intellectual property and understanding its significance, ensuring proper Intellectual Property protection
must haves
  • Acknowledge the presence of choice in every moment and take personal responsibility for your life.
  • Possess an entrepreneurial spirit and continuously innovate to achieve great results. 
  • Communicate with honesty and kindness and create the space for others to do the same. 
  • Lead with courage, knowing the possibility of greatness is bigger than the fear of failure. 
  • Foster connection by putting people first and building trusting relationships. 
  • Integrate fun and joy as a way of being and working, aka doesn’t take yourself too seriously.
additional notes
Immigration support is potentially available for this role.
compensation and benefits package

lululemon’s compensation offerings are grounded in a pay-for-performance philosophy that recognizes exceptional individual and team performance. The typical hiring range for this position is from $177,000 - $232,300 CAD annually; the base pay offered is based on market location and may vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, experience, and internal equity. As part of our total rewards offering, permanent employees in this position may be eligible for our competitive annual bonus program and equity offerings, subject to program eligibility requirements.   


At lululemon, investing in our people is a top priority. We believe that when life works, work works. We strive to be the place where inclusive leaders come to develop and enable all to be well. Recognizing our teams for their performance and dedication, other components of our total rewards offerings include support of career development, wellbeing, and personal growth: 


  • Extended health and dental benefits, and mental health plans 
  • Paid time off 
  • Savings and retirement plan matching 
  • Generous employee discount 
  • Fitness & yoga classes  
  • Parenthood top-up 
  • Extensive catalog of development course offerings 
  • People networks, mentorship programs, and leadership series (to name a few) 


Note: The incentive programs, benefits, and perks have certain eligibility requirements. The Company reserves the right to alter these incentive programs, benefits, and perks in whole or in part at any time without advance notice. 

workplace agreement

This role is classified as Hybrid under our SSC Workplace Policy:  

In-person collaboration is important, and much of the role can be performed remotely. Work is performed onsite at least 3 days per week.