Colin Lange

Why I [Heart] Warby Parker

I have a secret. I used to hate glasses. As a teenager I was so desperate to avoid wearing them that I decided it was normal for trees to look like big green splotches. They made me feel mousy and bookish. Thinking about my celebrity idols at the time, Cher Horowitz, Buffy Summers and Angela Chase—none of them were those things, and none of them wore glasses.

Glasses were vital for my life and my livelihood as a designer, but wearing them made me feel frumpy. I preferred sticking my finger in my eye to put in contacts over wearing frames on my face.

Then along came Warby Parker.

I had heard about this company with affordable, stylish glasses from friends—at the gym, at a party, at dinner. The more I heard, the more I wanted to know.

When I visited the website, I was in love. Beautifully designed. Socially responsible. Super cool but not pretentious. Think Bono but a company.

I’d lovingly perused their frames — Seymour, Preston, Lyle, Ramsay and more. I loved them all.

I imagined them caressing my face and seeing the world together.

I took a leap of faith since they had to be ordered online and nabbed Aslin, a frame that was the perfect mix of professional and fun.

I smiled when I put them. I stole glances of the frames in the mirror. Every now and then, we’d read together at night (even though I only needed them for distances). I lingered with them on until bedtime.

Much like Toms, a company that provides shoes for those who can’t afford them from the proceeds of your purchase, Warby Parker gives back. They’re committed to helping communities around the world. For every pair of glasses you buy they donate a pair to someone in need. And they strive to foster economic development by creating jobs. They also partner with local community based non-profits and train them to make and sell glasses to those most in need. Isn’t that dreamy?

They link profit with philanthropy and their success proves that consumers like feeling good about their purchases. It makes me want to carve our initials on a tree.

Instead, let me count the ways I love thee, Warby Parker:

1. Your adorable and affordable glasses

2. Your mission to help the community around you, and stories like this 

3. Your commitment to your employees and creating an inspiring work environment

4. The sense of fun you bring to all aspects of your work, from eye-catching ad campaigns to amazing interactive annual reports that make this designer’s heart throb.

5. And, finally, because of this

Without my own glasses or contacts I would be lost (I mean literally lost, I wouldn’t even be able to read street signs). So it makes sense to me that offering people the gift of sight could fundamentally change their place in the world. And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

I adore you, Warby Parker, for creating a company of community engagement and social responsibility. And cute glasses too. I’d love to go steady and join your book club.

Your now-not-so-secretly-obsessed admirer,