Buy a Pair, Give a Pair
The whole story begins with you
Alleviating the problem of impaired vision is at the heart of what we do, and with your help, over seven million pairs of glasses have been distributed through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. At the moment, however, the majority of glasses distribution has been suspended due to COVID-19.
While we continue to support the distribution of glasses where we can without compromising the health of our partners and the community, we’ve temporarily shifted most of our efforts to prioritize public health and safety. As of April 1, 2020, for the majority of Warby Parker glasses purchased, personal protective equipment and preventative health supplies will be distributed to healthcare workers and communities in need. Learn more.
How it works
2.5 billion people around the world need glasses but don’t have access to them; of these, 624 million cannot effectively learn or work due to the severity of their visual impairment.
To help address this problem, we work with a handful of partners worldwide to ensure that for every pair of Warby Parker glasses purchased, a pair of glasses is distributed to someone in need. There are two models we employ:
1) Empowering adult men and women with training opportunities to administer basic eye exams and sell glasses for ultra-affordable prices. (This accounts for the majority of our distribution.)
2) Directly giving vision care and glasses to school-age children in their classrooms, where teachers are often the first to spot issues
The power of one pair
From the beginning, VisionSpring has been our primary partner in the Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. We’ve supported their social entrepreneurship model internationally, which makes it possible for low-income men and women to acquire and sell radically affordable eyeglasses, earn a living, and care for their families. In addition to providing vocational training, this model makes eyecare significantly more accessible in communities with few or no other options. Over 50% of VisionSpring’s customers are getting glasses for the very first time.
In 2015, we created Pupils Project, our program with a number of organizations and local government agencies, like the Department of Education in New York City and the Department of Health in Baltimore, that provides free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to schoolchildren. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, vision disability is the single most prevalent disabling condition among children in the U.S.; our Pupils Project model eliminates barriers to access by providing free prescription glasses and meeting children in their classrooms, where vision issues often first come to light. We also support a similar school-based model in Mexico, with the organization Ver Bien, that helps bring glasses to elementary public school students across the country.
(This is cool: As part of our work in Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University is conducting a longitudinal study to better understand the correlation between the intervention of vision treatment and reading scores as well as the benefits of ensuring access to glasses for children in urban settings.)
This is just the start but our sleeves are rolled up, and we’re excited to move forward together.