The big news yesterday was Toms Shoes launching Tom’s Glasses in their One For One Business Model. While Toms Shoes started that innovative give back program, they are not the first to do it in the eyecare industry. Warby Parker adopted that model and has set record growth with their One For One philosophy.
In a paper published last year by the World Health Organization, Frick and his colleagues estimated that current rates of vision loss will cost the global economy nearly $270 billion, after adjusting for country-specific labor trends and employment statistics.
- According to the CIA World Factbook it is estimated that the overall world literacy rate was 82%. Illiteracy is defined as those over 15 who cant read and write. Much of Illiteracy is the ability not to be able to see to learn.
- About 14 % of U.S. adults cannot this article because 1 in 7 are illiterate. 32 million U.S. adults lack basic prose literacy skill. That means they can’t read a newspaper or the instruction on a bottle of pills.
- Statistics released by the U.S. Education Department show that some In the United States, an estimated 80 million people have eye diseases which can potentially cause blindness, another 3 million have low vision, 1.1 million are legally blind, and 200,000 are considered severely visually impaired.
- An estimated 158 million, are coping with uncorrected refractive error: vision loss due to inadequate medical care and lack of corrective lenses. Of those suffering from URE, 8.7 million are completely blind. The rest contend with moderate to severe visual impairment.
- When parents cannot see, the children are put to work; World Vision’s Campaign to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor found that 85 percent of all children working in brick factories were laboring in hazardous situations. Notably, 22 percent of those children were forced by their families to work to pay off family debt and 72 percent were working because their families could not afford to buy food.
Just a quick rundown of who else is involved in sight saving charities; These are not all of course, but I think you can see that many optical companies are involved in giving back, donating time, products and money to alleviate blindness and vision impairment.
- Toms Shoes Eyewear launched June 7, 2011 will be the same business model as Toms Shoes. For every pair of sunglasses purchased, sight-saving medical treatment, prescription glasses or surgery will be donated to a person in need.
- Moral Eyes- (Launched 2011) MoralEyes is a wholesaler and retailer of reading glasses. The mission: promote responsible consumerism by actively engaging customers in their philanthropic operation. For every pair of reading glasses you purchase, we donate a pair to someone in need. Partner with New Eyes For The Needy . Has donated 3800 pairs of eyewear to date.
- Coastal Contacts–The Coastal Contacts Change the View Project was created to provide eyeglasses to people around the world who are suffering from visual impairment and unable to obtain eyeglasses by their own means. We believe that everyone has the right to clear vision and we want to help make this right a reality. For every pair of participating designer frames purchased from Coastal Contacts, a second pair of eyeglasses will be donated to someone in need. (Clearly Contacts ) In total, Coastal Contacts plans to donate 250,000 pairs of glasses in 2011 and over two million by 2020. To reach these objectives, Coastal hopes to create partnerships on a project-by-project and country-by-country basis. It will start by making the program available to a variety of organizations through the websites http://www.coastalcontacts.com/ andhttp://www.clearly.contacts.ca/
- Eyespex.com– Eyespex.com is the culmination of one doctor belief in providing top quality eyewear to the online shopping experience. They donate a pair of prescription eye glasses to an impoverished individual every time someone makes a purchase on Eyespex.com
- Savvy Specs, the online glasses store has made a pledge to donate 5% of each year’s profits to various charities.
- Warby Parker (Launched 2010) Has donated over 30,000 pair of eyeglasses. Partners with Restoring Vision, Limited Edition for Invisible Children, Suno and VisionSpring. Their mission is very simple- Look sharp, pay less, do good
- 141 Eyewear Launched in 2010 also has a One For One Business model. They sell wholesale only.
- Eyes of Faith, Wholesale Eyewear A purpose Driven eyewear company, works with Restoring Vision
- Transitions Optical, wholesale lens manufacturer, supports many vision charities and give back programs. Bess The Book Bus, Breast Cancer ….
- Essilor- Wholesale and Retail division, has non-profit foundation that gives back to sight saving charities.Essilor Vision Foundation
- Luxottica, Wholesale and Retail (Sunglass Hut, Lenscrafters) Supports onesight.org
- Carl Zeiss (Lions Club) Support Lions Club
- Zeal Optics Supports New Eyes For The Needy)
- Modern Optical, Eyewear wholesaler who donates to New Eyes For the Needy
- FGX (Essilor) Eyewear wholesaler and Retailer, who donates reading glasses for the needy
- Nouveau Eyewear Eyewear wholesaler, Supports Vision Screening in South Africa
- Real Kids Shades, Wholesale eyewear companies works with Prevent Blindness For Star Pupil Program
- Kayu Designs- Eyewear Wholesaler, Eco Friendly Bamboo Eyewear, gives $20 from each sale to give Sight Saving Surgeries.
- A&A Optical– has partnered with various vision charities, breast cancer
- VSP –Eyes of Hope– gives glasses to those in need.
- ic!berlin- Eyewear wholesaler has been known to bicycle around giving away eyewear, launched a We have Nothing Charity.
- Optovue Wholesale Optical Equipment company Optovue Donates Back to Sight Saving Charities
- Ciba Vision- Contact Lenses Supports Optometry Giving Site
Other Give Back Optical Companies
- Costa Del Mar – Eyewear wholesaler and retailer gives back to numerouse Marine Conservation groups.
- McGee Group- Eyewear Wholesaler whose collections, Vera Bradley and Duck Unlimited give back to breast cancer and saving wetlands.
- Wiley X- Supports Vets and Breast Cancer.
- Proof Eyewear (Japan Relief) Retail online.
- Aya Eyewear, supports First Nation to bring lunches
- ClearVision Optical,(Many programs) even has a DO GOOD section on their website, Gives back to artists, Cerebral Palsy, Food Banks, Breast Cancer and much more.
- Walman Optical- Wholesale optical lab, through corporate sustainability programs has supported numerous works and given back over 2 million.
- Vision-Ease Lens (many programs), Optical Lens, through corporate sustainability programs has given back, plus they are using renewal energy and many of their products are made in the USA
- OGI (Big Brothers), Wholesale only, support Big Brothers and is trying to make this a national program.
- Velvet Eyewear (The Arts), wholesale and a new company, raising funds for the arts in New York
- Marchon Eyewear (owned by VSP) contributes to many and various charities
- Armani Red (Safilo) Eyewear wholesaler, supports Aids in Africa,
- Safilo (Eyewear wholesaler with some retail supports Special Olympics
- Santinelli International– Wholesale optical lens edging company, supports Special Olympics
- Amy Sacks Support Animal Shelters
- Sama- Eyewear wholesaler and retailer – Sam Vance Foundation
- Paws N Claws Eyewear wholesaler just launched, gives back to ASPCA.
Eco Friendly Optical Companies
- MODO– Eyewear wholesaler- ECO Eyewear- and Eco Bonus plants trees for every eyeglass sold
- Polaroid Eyewear – Partnered With Planet Solar to support renewable energy
- Linkskin- Is a Member of 1% for the Planet
- Drift Eyewear– Is a member of 1% for the Planet
- Dragon Alliance has partnered with Surfrider and has Eco Friendly Eyewear
- Revo- Supported Plastiki and other causes for enviroment causes including safe waterand plastic trash in the ocean.
- Wiley X’s Eyewear A percentage of the sales of the Lacey Sunglass goes to Breast Cancer. Supports the environment by building an Eco Friendly Office space and has products made in the USA
You can read more about Sight Charities and Events here