Warby Parker Mixes CSR Business Initiatives with Eyewear Purchases | Miratel Solutions

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Warby Parker Mixes CSR Business Initiatives with Eyewear Purchases

New American eyewear company, Warby Parker, is out to change how the public sees purchasing glasses with their built in CSR business model. WarbyParker.com is a web based eyewear company run by four friends. Their goal: to bring stylish, affordable glasses to the masses and do it with a conscience. They do not believe that a great pair of spectacles should cost upwards of three hundred dollars. They actually believe that a great pair of prescription glasses should not cost more than one hundred dollars.

Warby Parker was founded with a bit of a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to create boutique-quality, classically crafted eyewear at a revolutionary price point. Their website is interactive and you can upload a picture of yourself and see which style of frames will best suit your face (which is very cool). However, the company is about more than just fashion and profits. The founders believe “that everyone has the right to see.” That’s why they have a program whereby they donate one pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased.

“To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with renowned non-profits, such as RestoringVision.org. In doing so, [they] enable [their customers] to share the gift of vision with someone who can’t see today and give them the opportunity to read, to work, and to live a fuller life.”

Warby Parker CSR business model

Warby Parker image courtesy of warbyparker.com

So far the company has given away more than sixty thousand pairs of eyeglasses to those in need and they recently brought their program to Guatemala. The program that Warby Parker has put in place is something that is becoming popular in the retail industry and it is a concept that TOMS, a shoe retailer really put on the map.  As we have previously written, TOMS launched in 2006 and have grown considerably (and rapidly) and have since given away more than 1,000,000 pairs of shoes to children in need through their “one for one” movement.

In tough economic times, consumers may not have the disposable income to be able to donate to the causes they believe in so marrying a cause to a product can really give retailers an edge over the competition. Having said that,  it is important that quality and price still match up and it appears that Warby Parker is taking all points into consideration.

It is exciting when a company takes a new approach with their CSR business strategies and it is commendable when that idea is in the very fabric of the business as is the case with Warby Parker. If nothing else, companies like Warby Parker (and TOMS) raise awareness to the fact that there are people without glasses, shoes or other necessities in this world so big ups to them both for that. You can read more about how Warby Parker will be making a difference in the world one pair of glasses at a time here.

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