Warby Parker was founded with a mission: to inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style.
We're constantly asking ourselves how we can do more and make a greater impact—and that starts by reimagining everything that a company and industry can be. We want to demonstrate that a business can scale, be profitable, and do good in the world—without charging a premium for it. And we've learned that it takes creativity, empathy, and innovation to achieve that goal.
Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: Glasses are too expensive.
Our founders were students when one of them lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don't recommend this.)
The others had similar experiences and were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn't leave their wallets bare. Where were the options?
It turns out there's a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.
Warby Parker was started 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 that everyone has the right to see. 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 glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. To date, over eight million pairs of glasses have been distributed through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.
There's nothing complicated about it. Good eyewear, good outcome.
Plot twist! In the fall of 2019, we launched our first-ever brand of daily contacts, Scout by Warby Parker. We believe that buying contacts should be easy and fun, just like shopping for glasses—plus leave you happy with money in your pocket.