Warby Parker is an American online retailer of prescription glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses, based in New York City. Warby Parker was founded as an online retailer, but now sells primarily (about 90%) through 160 physical retail store locations across the U.S. and Canada.
Warby Parker was founded with a mission: to inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style.
The company is constantly asking itself "how we can do more and make a greater impact—and that starts by reimagining everything that a company and industry can be". Warby Parker wants to demonstrate that a business can scale, be profitable, and do good in the world—without charging a premium for it. And they've learned that it takes creativity, empathy, and innovation to achieve that goal. Here's a bit about their programs:
Since 2019, Warby Parkers has been the recipient of the highest score (100%) on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)'s Corporate Equality Index, which is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices, and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees. The company continues to focus on upholding their values so that all employees feel as though they belong. In 2021, they launched new Employee Engagement and Belonging initiatives that brought fun and team building to the workplace and built greater fluency around topics related to inclusion, equity, and diversity. They have also continued to partner with BIPOC entrepreneurs and artists to share their stories and talent with their team and the community.
During the Zoom-schooling era of lockdown, the spectacles retailer Warby Parker resumed “Pupils Project,” a 2015 initiative that has provided half a million free vision screenings and 120,000 pairs of glasses to low-income and majority-BIPOC communities. As children lost opportunities for eye testing at school—and nearsightedness among young kids rose up to three times higher in 2020 than in the previous five years—Pupils Project relaunched in existing cities like Baltimore and New York, and dedicated $10 million to expand the project to new areas in 2021, including Washington, D.C., 26 counties in Pennsylvania, and 75 school districts in California, aiming to reach 500,000 more kids by the end of 2025. To prove its hypothesis that better optic health leads to higher educational attainment, Warby Parker teamed up for a three-year study with the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, which was published in September 2021. Among the findings: For students in the lowest quartile, and in special education, wearing glasses equated to almost half a school year of additional learning.
The way companies engage their employees and create impact is more important now than ever before. We face global and societal challenges, and companies have the power to make a difference.
Creating impact and engagement at this scale is incredibly challenging. That's why we felt it was essential to launch the WeHero 100 to highlight the top 100 companies making an impact.
WeHero announces a new company to the WeHero 100 monthly, with the goal of raising awareness and motivating more companies to focus on impact.
Join us in celebrating these change makers!