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Warby Parker Announces 10 Million Pairs of Glasses Distributed Globally

Over 10 million more people now have the glasses they need to learn, work, and achieve better economic outcomes.

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Warby Parker Announces 10 Million Pairs of Glasses Distributed Globally

(PRESS RELEASE) Warby Parker announces that 10 million pairs of glasses have officially been distributed (in 50+ countries around the world) via our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program – which means over 10 million more people now have the glasses they need to learn, work, and achieve better economic outcomes.

How the program works

We work with a group of organizations worldwide to ensure that for every pair of Warby Parker glasses sold, a pair of glasses is distributed to someone in need. Through our partnerships we are able to prioritize the places with the most significant need, many of which are extremely limited in their access to vision care. The two distribution models we employ are:

Social Entrepreneurship
Empowering people to administer basic eye exams and sell glasses at ultra-affordable prices.

The nonprofit social enterprise VisionSpring has been our primary partner in this work since day one. (A bit of Warby history: Before he was our co-founder and co-CEO, Neil was not only a director there—he was the organization’s second employee.) VisionSpring accelerates the uptake of eyeglasses among customers living on less than $4 per day by raising awareness about vision impairment, conducting vision screenings, and selling highly subsidized eyeglasses in low-income communities. They also train a range of health workers and mission-aligned organizations to do the same. Over 50% of VisionSpring customers are getting glasses for the first time.

Direct Donation
Via cross -sector partnerships, directly g iving vision care and glasses to those in need.

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In 2015, we created Pupils Project, a program that works with local organizations and government agencies to give free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to schoolchildren—for many of whom this is their first pair. This model eliminates barriers to access by providing free prescription glasses and meeting children at school, where teachers are often the first to spot vision issues.

Pupils Project began in New York City—and soon after grew to include Baltimore and Philadelphia — but last year we expanded the program to bring vision services to 70+ new U.S. school districts in cities across California, central and western Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. We plan to distribute tens of thousands of pairs of glasses during the 2021-2022 school year alone, unlocking greater educational and economic potential.

In September 2021, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Ophthalmology published an academic study conducted by Johns Hopkins University Wilmer Eye Institute and School of Education as part of Vision for Baltimore (our Pupils Project program which provides vision screenings, eye exams, and prescription glasses to kids in Baltimore elementary and middle schools).

The three-year clinical study investigated the impact of school-based vision interventions on academic outcomes; essentially, the effect of glasses on kids’ academic performance. The results reinforced what we’ve seen first-hand for years: The impact of a pair of glasses on a student’s education was equivalent to two to four months of additional schooling, and four-to-six months for special education students — compared to students without glasses. Our continued hope is to show that a business can do well while doing good—and we couldn’t be more appreciative of the people who help make that happen. We can’t wait to see what will be achieved in the years to come.

Learn more about our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program here

To continue the work towards providing vision for all, we created the Warby Parker Impact Foundation in 2019. The Warby Parker Impact Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity with the mission to advocate for wider access to vision services, educate communities on the importance of eye health, and provide people with the eye care they need to lead safe, happy, and productive lives.

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To learn more, visit here.

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