From Warby Parker to TOMS: Glasses That Give Back
It's easy to see—pun intended—that charitable eyewear is having moment. Manhattan start-up Warby Parker was perhaps the first to test the concept, selling hipster prescription eyewear (and later sunglasses, too) for under $100 a pop—all while matching each purchase with a donation to those in need. Since then, BonLook has jumped on the bandwagon, while Eyebobs launched a charitable collaboration with none other than Katie Couric. And though they're famous for philanthropic footwear, TOMS is now applying their trademark "One for One" practice to eyewear. We've got the scoop on this awesome optical trend, from the costs to the causes behind each brand.
The Product: Optical and sunwear styles for men and women, with a focus on rich finishes and chunky Brooklyn-minded frames.
The Purpose: Warby Parker's "Buy a Pair, Give a Pair" policy dictates that for each pair of glasses sold, another is donated to a person in need. The company works closely with nonprofit organizations that help them maintain low price points.
The Price: $95 per pair—which includes either prescription or polarized lenses.
The Product: Prescription and sun-ready styles for guys and girls, with an emphasis on elegant horn-rimmed frames and retro silhouettes.
The Purpose: BonLook works with Helen Keller International's ChildSight program, which provides vision screenings and prescription eyewear to New York's underprivileged children. 1 percent of BonLook's sales go straight to the nonprofit organization.
The Price: $70-$99 for optical styles, $119 for most of their sunnies.
The Product: Sunglasses for both genders in aviator and retro Wayfarer-esque shapes. Girls have the additional option of an oversized Jackie O. frame, and every style's arms are dipped in contrasting colors.
The Purpose: In keeping with their "One for One" mantra, for every pair of TOMS purchased, someone in need will receive a pair of glasses, medical attention or even sight-saving surgery.
The Price: $135-$145 per pair, depending on the specific style.
The Product: Eyebobs' limited-edition "Katie's Close Up" style will have you looking as sharp as the world-renowned anchorwoman.
The Purpose: A portion of proceeds from this style's sale will go to Scholarship America, which aims to provide college edecation to students in need.
The Price: $75