How Eyewear Brands are Giving Back to Communities in Need

Sunglasses and glasses brands OPSM, LensCrafters, and Warby Parker help communities through crowdfunding, donating glasses, and buy-one-give-one programs.
Main image for a Crowdsourcing Week blog on eyewear brands giving benefits to communities in need

Written by Roseanne Joyce

Jun 10, 2024

Involving customers in charitable initiatives is a powerful way for brands to build a personal connection and foster a sense of community. As we discussed in a previous article, crowdsourcing in this manner also humanizes a brand, demonstrating a company’s commitment to making a positive impact in the world. Take Patagonia’s 2011 Common Threads Initiative. By inviting customers to pledge to reduce their clothing consumption, Patagonia was able to engage consumers in a shared mission while highlighting its own values. Here’s how sunglasses and glasses brands OPSM, LensCrafters, and Warby Parker give back to communities in need through crowdfunding, donating glasses, and buy-one-give-one programs.

OPSM: Crowdfunding for vision charity

Since it opened its doors in Australia in 1932, OPSM has been at the forefront of advances in eye care technology. Today, OPSM is a well-established eyewear retailer known for carrying premium sunglasses and eyeglasses from brands like Ray-Ban, Gucci, and Michael Kors, as well as top-of-the-line eye care services. In addition to providing high-quality eyewear, OPSM is dedicated to improving local and global eye health. One notable initiative is their partnership with OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, a non-profit committed to eradicating the vision care crisis.

Through this partnership, OPSM engages in crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds for vision care projects. These projects include setting up vision centers in underserved communities, providing free eye exams, and providing glasses to those in need. In 2022, OPSM hosted a number of free vision clinics in Australia and New Zealand, including one that provided vision care to nearly 800 children from five schools in Townsville. As a result, the company is able to raise awareness about vision issues while empowering consumers to contribute directly to life-changing projects.

LensCrafters: Giving new life to gently used glasses

In North America, LensCrafters is the go-to retailer for eyewear with a strong emphasis on quality and customer service. Beyond their commercial success, LensCrafters has a longstanding commitment to social responsibility, particularly through their practice of accepting gently used glasses for donation. According to their website, customers can simply drop off gently used
prescription or non-prescription glasses, including sunglasses, at a LensCrafters location, which are then recycled and hand-delivered to those in need during a OneSight Global Clinic.

This initiative not only provides essential vision care to underprivileged communities but also promotes sustainability by recycling eyewear. According to OneSight, about 10 million people worldwide have benefited from these donations, gaining access to much-needed vision correction. In doing so, Lenscrafters also fosters a sense of community and collective action toward a noble cause.

Warby Parker: Buy a pair, give a pair

Warby Parker has revolutionized the eyewear industry with its direct-to-consumer model, offering stylish and affordable glasses while eliminating the middleman. Known for its trendy designs and innovative approach to retail, this company also stands out for its dedication to social good through its “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program. Since its inception, Warby Parker has pledged to donate a pair of glasses for every pair sold.

This initiative operates in partnership with VisionSpring and various other nonprofit groups to ensure that glasses are distributed to those in need. The company’s 2022 Impact Report highlights that since 2010, the program has distributed 13 million pairs of glasses globally. Moreover, Warby Parker has created the Pupils Project, working with local communities in New York City, Baltimore, Pennsylvania, and more to provide free vision screening, eye exams, and glasses to students in need. Overall, the brand demonstrates that corporate success and social responsibility can go hand in hand.

Key takeaway

Image of spectacles in a Crowdsourcing Week blog on brands of sunglasses giving back to communitiesThese eyewear companies exemplify how businesses can leverage their resources and consumer engagement to drive positive social change, allowing them to enhance their brand reputations while making a tangible difference in the lives of people worldwide. Through crowdfunding, donations, and one-for-one programs, these companies are setting a precedent for how the glasses and sunglasses eyewear  industry, and businesses at large, can give back to communities in need.

About Author

About Author

Roseanne Joyce

Roseanne Joyce is a business consultant and part-time writer. She has a background in corporate finance though is now working as a consultant with startups and SMEs on financial management.

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