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Seeing the Bigger Picture: Better Know Warby Parker

Posted on the 16 December 2011 by Blab

Seeing the Bigger Picture: Better Know Warby ParkerWarby Parker is a new eyewear brand that is transforming the optical industry into a better way of doing business; one that’s about doing good. To the founders of Warby Parker doing good means transferring billions of dollars from large corporations to normal people by cutting superfluous costs. It also means using profits to bring prescription eyewear to those who need it most.

While in business school, Warby Parker co-founders Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Andy Hunt, and Jeff Raider, and Dave Gilboa realized the disconnect between the production and retail cost of glasses. They’d personally experienced the pain of paying $500 dollars for the glasses they needed and were convinced that they could deliver the same quality for less. Warby Parker decided to sell glasses online, thereby bypassing the middlemen and drastically cutting costs. With this innovative model, they are able to provide prescription eyewear for only $95. Unsurprisingly, there’s a large market of people who want affordable eyewear. Warby Parker hit their first year sales target in only three weeks and proved that a business built to do good can succeed.

In addition to their customers, Warby Parker’s shareholder-centric business model prioritizes their employees, the environment, and the community. The company believes everyone has a right to see. Warby Parker’s buy a pair – give a pair program gives glasses to someone in need for every pair they sell. To do this, Warby Parker partners with non-profits, like VisionSpring, to provide local entrepreneurs in developing areas with the frames, lenses, and tools they need to provide eye exams and sell glasses. These newly trained entrepreneurs are then able to support themselves and provide an invaluable service to their community. Their neighbors, previously without access to eyewear, gain much needed vision and with that, the ability to work and care for themselves.

Leadership in a better way to do business is fundamental to Warby Parker, which is why they became B Certified. According to Blumenthal, B Corporations are creating the legal mechanisms that enable companies to do good in the world. They also saw B Certification as a way of demonstrating that doing good is not a fad for Warby Parker, but part of their DNA.

To find out more about Warby Parker and their many revolutionary business practices, better know this B.

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