Warby Parker Review: Change Starts With My Face

My Warby Parker glasses are fantastic and comfortable. The service is top notch! Trying at home is the valuable service you never knew you needed. Beyond that though, they are making the world a better place.

Since day one, over 4 million pairs of glasses have been distributed through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. Alleviating the problem of impaired vision is at the heart of what we do, and with your help, our impact continues to expand.

warbyparker.com

It’s story time…

I had my eyes checked one day in grade school. I’m not sure I understand why it was such a difficult experience for me, but I was crushed when I was told I was color-blind. I don’t remember much, but my mom has told me how I was so upset and worried about what this revelation meant for my life. My mom was right. It really hasn’t made a difference. Green is green to me. Red looks red. I can match clothes — most of the time. 

YES! I can see the red car that is parked on the green lawn.

I also had astigmatism and I needed reading glasses. My eyes were not too bad and I wore those glasses very rarely growing up. Unfortunately, time passes and my eyes have grown tired. A couple years ago I started having migraines after spending a lot of time in front of computer screens. I had to get updated prescriptions and wear my glasses more consistently.

And time just doesn’t stop. My eyes kept getting worse. A couple months ago, after a run of terrible migraines, it was time for an updated eye exam. It was pretty much the same story, but I got the impression my eyes were a bit worse. I asked the optician how often I should be wearing my glass and he said, 

“You only need to wear your glasses when you want to see better.”

Well, thanks for that. I don’t know if that was him saying, “honestly, your eyes aren’t that bad. Wear them if you want.” or “Well, of course, you need to wear these all the time. You do want to see, don’t you?” In either case, I would have preferred the straight answer, but alas, sometimes life leaves us with these difficult decisions like when you discover the salsa in the fridge is only one month past the expiration date. 

Just like my salsa predicament, I decided I would try and see if it made me happy or sick. I’ll wear the glasses, as the optician suggested, “when I wanted to see better” — all the time. 

And now for frames

I spent some time looking at the frames at the Walmart where I had my eyes checked. Alright, my expectations were low, but I wasn’t ready to spend a lot on glasses. Why not look at the frames available where one saves money while ALSO living better?

There were a few decent options even with Buy-One, Give-One programs. Here is a pair from Bio Eyes that I really liked. The price was nice too.

I’d recommend checking out Bio Eyes. They look great and provide a good service. For my glasses though, I knew I had to put anything I found against the impact and try-at-home program offered by Warby Parker. I took notes on the Bio Eyes frames and went home to place my order.

Let’s just be honest.
Warby Parkers are COOL!

You want glasses that

  • Look great
  • Aren’t too expensive
  • Will hold up

With the try-at-home program, you can pick out your frames, try them on, and get feedback from all of your friends before placing your order. You can’t lose.

I placed my order for 5 frames to test out, got some feedback from friends, and landed on the Wilkie Eyeglasses in Eastern Bluebird.

I’m happy with these.

What do I think?

Alright. They look and feel great, but they are under $100. What can you really expect? I know I’ll have to replace them due to scratches or just being able to hold up — But they are exactly what I wanted.


Here’s what I really wanted to talk about though…

Warby Parker, like Tom’s, struggles in the public eye with accusations that sound something like:

“You know Warby Parker (Tom’s, or whatever company you want to place in the quote) doesn’t actually do any good, right? It’s all a marketing ploy to prey on our compassion.”

I heard this recently at a party.

I wrote more about this in my TOMS review, and I won’t do as good of a job as Warby Parker will do to communicate their impact. You can find out for yourself what they actually do, but I believe both Tom’s and Warby Parker are doing a better job than pulling a fast one on us to get us to buy their products. 

I responded to accusation this model doesn’t quite help as well as much as you might think. I suggested, rather than pointing a finger and disparaging their attempts, we support and encourage the desire to try. Just because we haven’t solved the problems of the world yet, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be out there doing what we can.

Today, and this might sound a bit harsher than what I intend, I’d like to ask,

WHAT DO WE WANT FROM THESE COMPANIES?

Prices are great. The product is AT LEAST as good as anything else you’d want to buy. Why is it so hard for us to support companies that are trying to make the world a better place?

It’s hard for companies to make the sacrifices necessary to both be competitive and provide a positive impact. While I think the idea to build a business that helps the world, the reality of the marketplace makes it nearly impossible to succeed without the commitment of people to purchase more than they need.

That’s the challenge. What if it weren’t a challenge to only eat fair-trade chocolate or purchase ethically?

What if our future depends on more than some of us?

What if… what the world really needs is for me, and maybe for you, to purchase more than I need?

Here’s what I mean. I know I can get glasses, jeans, chocolate, shoes, or whatever for less, but SHOULD I? I know I have the ability to afford more even if it means I may have to give up something else. Maybe it is more important to participate in structures that build up rather than serving corporate greed. Maybe it is actually better for me to pay more for the thriving of us all.

For Warby Parker, I think the prices are terribly reasonable. It’s not a stretch for me. I’m actually typing this a good 6 months after I started this post, and they’ve held up well. Also, often buying ethical products pay for themselves. They are higher quality and provide more satisfaction and last longer. It’s totally worth it.

Back to the point…

Back to the arguments against companies like Warby Parker and their Buy-One, Give-One pitch. We are naturally skeptical. When we hear claims, particularly if moving on an offer means inconvenience or greater expense, we can be quick to question and evaluate. For any temptation, I might feel to accuse companies of preying on compassion and exploiting others, I would like to suggest something.

Sometimes companies are actually created and run by people who want to do good.

Yes, there are times when companies do awful things, but I choose to have more faith in people. I choose to trust in the claims that I know are good. I choose to believe it would actually be more difficult for a company to build a business and reputation on a lie than it would be for them to actually try to help humanity.

Sure, do your research, but maybe it is best to take the risk and purchase with your heart rather than be hamstrung and potentially do damage because of skepticism.

I’ve seen enough and I’m excited to support Warby Parker and stand by the efforts to make the world a better place.

The glasses are fantastic and comfortable. The service is top notch! Trying at home is the valuable service you never knew you needed. Carry the demos around and ask all your friends before you buy. It’s a ton of fun while finding the best look for you. Warby Parker is competitive on service alone. Beyond that though, they are making the world a better place.

insert some pun about better vision and a better world here. 🙂