Warby Parker is a highly successful online — and now store-based — retailer of eyeglasses and sunglasses (“Prescription eyeglasses, starting at $95, with free shipping and free returns.”). As it notes on its Web site:
“Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty goal: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while being a socially conscious firm. Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were options?”
“There was a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a company that has been able to keep prices high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no options. We started Warby Parker to create an alternative. By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, we’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price. We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket.”
“We also believe everyone has the right to see. Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.”
Take a look at this Inc. video with Warby Parker founder Neil Blumenthal.