You can imagine my surprise the day that I discovered, aged six and thanks to my new NHS specs, that grass wasn’t a green carpet, but actually composed of individual blades.
Since then I have worn corrective eyewear every day of my life. Whether glasses, gas-permeable contacts (the horror), daily disposables or prescription diving masks, there has never been a moment when I haven’t looked at the world through a lens.
And the money. God the money I – and my long suffering parents – spent on my vision. With a myopia prescription hovering around -8 my lenses cost money. Serious, serious money. Even on a good salary, and with the cheap frames available now, to get lenses that don’t look the bottom of milk bottles costs over £250.
So imagine my relief when I discovered New York-based eyewear company Warby Parker. They believe that prescription eyewear simply should not cost $300+; a result of an industry is controlled by a few large companies that have kept prices artificially high.
They charge $95 for frames AND lenses. And they are frames you’d want to wear. The vintage-inspired, fashion forward frames, use custom acetates and materials and every pair is custom fitted with anti-reflective, polycarbonate prescription lenses. They’ll even send out sample frames by mail for customers to try before they buy.
there’s another reason why this company deserves to succeed. Following in the footsteps of philanthropic businesses like Masala Masala*, who give a hot meal in India for every jar of stir-in sauce sold, and TOM’s shoes who give a pair to a child in need for every pair sold, the guys at Warby Parker believe that everyone has the right to see.
So they have partnered with renowned non-profits, such as RestoringVision.org, to deliver one pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair that they sell. Really, I cannot see a reason not to buy your glasses from Warby Parker.
*Founder Priya Lakhani is here at TEDWomen too.