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Beyond Profit: The Positive Impact of Warby Parker’s ‘Buy a Pair, Give a Pair’ Program

Warby Parker is known for its premium, stylish glasses more than its activism and philanthropic efforts. But if you were to look closely, you would find that this eyewear brand has impacted our society in more ways than it gets credit for. 

Welcome to another segment of our new series #BeyondProfit. Today, we explore the philanthropic side of the eyewear icon, Warby Parker. So, without any further ado, let's jump right into it. 

The “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair’ Program

According to the company’s website, there are approximately 1 in 7 people who need corrective lenses for impaired vision but don’t have access to them. To tackle this problem, Warby Parker has partnered with a bunch of humanitarian organizations worldwide under their ‘Buy a Pair, Give a Pair’ program. 

The way this program works is pretty straightforward. Every time a customer buys a pair of glasses from the company, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need with the help of its partner organizations. There are two models that the brand uses for the ‘Buy a Pair, Give a Pair’ program. First, it empowers people to conduct basic eye exams and sell eyewear at quite affordable prices. Second, it relies on cross-industry partnerships to directly provide vision care and glasses to those who can not afford them. 

Serving Underprivileged Communities 

VisionSpring, Warby Parker's longest-standing partner in the Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, makes affordable eyewear available to underprivileged people living on less than $4 a day. But that is just a part of it. This nonprofit social organization also raises awareness about common vision problems, carrying out vision screenings, and selling ultra-subsidized eyewear in underserved communities. On top of that, they train health workers and organizations to do the same to create a much bigger impact on society. It has come to a point where almost 60% of VisionSpring customers are getting their glasses for the first time. 

In 2019, Warby Parker partnered with the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) to bring their philanthropic operations to Hyderabad, India. With the monetary support provided by Warby Parker (equivalent to a pair of glasses), LVPEI provides either affordable or free eye care to the remote and often overlooked communities of the country. 

Pupils Project

Introduced in 2015, this initiative from Warby Parker collaborates with local organizations and government bodies to provide free vision screenings, eye tests, and corrective solutions to school children in the United States. Interestingly, for many of these children, it is their first pair of glasses. 

The Pupils Project aims to tear down the barriers to access by offering free prescription eyewear at the school level, where vision problems are more likely to be identified.  

Warby Parker also collaborates with the organization Ver Bien Para Aprender Mejor to offer a similar program for school children in Mexico. Over the course of 24 years, this collaboration has led to the distribution of over 6 million prescription glasses. 

Maximizing the Impact

In the past couple of years, Warby Parker has been broadening the horizon of its philanthropic endeavors - thanks to its partnership with RestoringVision. It is a global non-profit organization that is devoted to providing unbiased access to eye care to people living in poverty or extreme poverty. In the last 19 years, Warby Parker and RestoringVision have been able to reach about 25 million people from different communities in over 140 countries. 

The beauty of this partnership with RestoringVision is that Warby Parker’s activism and humanitarian actions get to make a positive impact in communities with different needs and access, be it refugee camps or underprivileged schools. 

The Warby Parker Impact Foundation

For over a decade now, Warby Parker has served the community with its Buy a Pair, Give a Pair initiative. To this day, the program has distributed over 15 million pairs of free glasses to those who need them. There are over 1 billion people in the world who need corrective lenses but can not afford them. In order to meet this goal and accelerate its philanthropic actions, Warber Parker established the Warby Parker Impact Foundation in 2019. 

The Impact Foundation advocates for unfettered access to eye care and vision education for communities of all sizes, needs, and locations. 

Bottom Line

And that is a wrap of yet another edition of #BeyondProfit. The positive impact of Warby Parker’s humanitarian activities on millions of lives across the globe is remarkable and should not go unnoticed and unappreciated. That’s why we are glad we got to cover this side of this iconic brand in this blog. It is a story of inspiration and relentless pursuit of a shared cause. 

Hope you found this piece amusing and informative. We can not wait to share the next segment of this series with you. Until then, stay tuned!


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