Hope Resides in Italy

Ethical Designers


While some of our favorite brands have closed until further notice; taken hiatus; or reconfigured their production line, we continue to interview innovative creators to share their journey… and hope that some of their stories inspire you!

Allison Hoeltzel Savini of Officina del Poggio, an ethical leather-goods brand headquartered in Bologna, continues to drive social engagement and plan ODP’s next sustainable initiatives.

B: What are some of your observations on ‘production under quarantine’ or back orders? 

A: We have halted shipping orders this week (March 20, 2020) to allow for shipping services to focus on more urgent deliveries such as medical supplies and other necessities, and also deliveries for those items which are necessary for companies or individuals to continue their production or business. Customers have continued to purchase through our e-commerce and are definitely understanding of these delays and we immensely appreciate their business and support.

B: How are you managing production and distribution?

A: Currently, we are focused on a few key retail partners and building our direct-to-consumer business. This is partially due to the situation we found ourselves in last 

year, where our major retail partner in the US filed for bankruptcy and we were sitting on their very large Fall/Winter order. We had to act fast and fortunately were able to increase our e-commerce sales drastically by building up our community through social media and newsletter base. After that experience, we feel a little stronger going into the next few months [regarding COVID]. We also have changed our business model, starting with the Fall/Winter 2020 collection to work with Italian vendors by using their dead stock fabrics and leathers. We will produce limited-edition production runs, also differentiating the product offering amongst our various retail channels so that customers will find unique products through the different retailers. This new strategy is possible thanks to our proximity to the vendors and also the capacity of our factories to produce in smaller production runs.

The current slow-down seems to be driving a more direct relationship with customers through social media.


B: I love that original concept! How do you believe the pandemic might encourage fashion brands to ideate their offerings outside of product-only?

A: The current slow-down seems to be driving a more direct relationship with customers through social media. 

I would love to be optimistic and think that this means that customers will be looking for more meaningful products, or in other words, those products may also have a meaningful process behind them.


Sustainable Fashion Journalist, Arizona Muse, shares her ODP collaborative capsule collection here.

Designed in London
Made in Italy

Meet Allison


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