I work at a small apparel manufacturer in Michigan (yes, a real-life apparel manufacturer here in the US) It is a great company, but some of their contracts (mostly military, but also Patagonia and New Balance to name a few) are winding down, so in order to avoid layoffs, they are looking at creating their own line of gear. They have years of experience, top of the line machines, and plenty of ability, but almost zero knowledge of the market. I offered to help since this is a passion of mine.
The question is, what are your needs out there? What things would you like to see made that aren't being made right now? Any and all help in this would be helpful. Even if you have a suggestion, but aren't sure if it applies, please comment. There is a ton of potential here, and the company has room for major flexibility. Wouldn't it be great to have a direct line to a backpacking gear manufacturer? Please help me out. Also, if yo have any other suggestions or questions about this opportunity, please ask. I'm also fairly new to this idea of manufacturing and selling gear (other than a few DIY projects), so any advice would certainly be appreciated.