Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

Outdoor Clothing Systems

A clothing-related enterprise, Outfits, creates a fit- and wearability-approval service, produces some prototype clothing items, provides advice for industries, markets computer-designed clothes-maker mannequins, and markets a computerized personal-pattern producer.

The enterprise is highly specialized in attempting to provide comfortable, long-wearing, and healthful fits. Slogans like "Survive Fit," "Fit to Survive," and "Survival of the Fit" abound.

An emphasis is on outdoor clothing, designed at Virginia Tech in joint efforts with the students and staff of the College of Natural Resources and the staff of Rural System, Inc. Needs are studied, designs are developed, and tests are run on Pivotal Tracts.

Other clothing may be sent by manufacturers or retailers and are subjected to rigorous tests in the lab and field and real working conditions

Only a few clothing products are made for, by design, people expressing such interest do the work in the homes of the region, part-time, and deliver the quality needed. Types of such products include hats, vests, a research device (a "Windey" to measure wind stresses in ecological communities), vest attachments, gardener pants, and horse-riding gear.

Part of the concept is to develop a distinctive type of clothing worn by people in the region or sold to tourists and visitors.

All of the clothing needs (low cost, efficient, safe, distinctive style and color) of the other enterprises of Rural System, Inc. will be addressed. Specialty testing services will be offered.

A buyers' cooperative may be formed. A new form of clothing for confined people of advanced age will be designed and marketed.


1. There are recently recognized needs for economy, efficiency, comfort, and safety along with several solutions.
2. Field and outdoor safety is emphasized in some agencies (e.g., U.S. Forest Service) but is rarely emphasized elsewhere. A market exists for work in this area, especially to offset rising insurance costs.
3. Rural System, Inc. should be able to achieve economies if all employees and many citizens wear optimal clothing (multiple criteria).
4. The national and international garment-clothing system is said to have limited scientific development. Opportunities for improved fit (and related markets) exist, especially in the U.S. where body shapes are heterogeneous.
5. Buying power of the people of the region may be increased by economies of scale developed for producing high quality clothing of the types outlined above.
6. Potentially high net returns in this area may offset some low returns in other Rural System, Inc. enterprises.


1. Loggers. miners, and all land owners
2. Bean, Orvis, and similar companies
3. Clothing manufacturers for mannequins
4. Local citizens (regional--all clothing outlets)
5. Filson for new vests and garden pants
6. Bee keepers for specialty clothing
7. Nursing homes and hospitals for advanced-age specialty clothing
8. Riding clothing - The Stables enterprise participants
9. Computer produced patterns - all fabric stores
10. Gardeners
11. Campers

Affiliation is with the College of Human Resources and Education, Virginia Tech, and Dr. Joann Boles will be Chief Designer and consultant.

Development costs for marketing and software development $100,000. Profit estimates:

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