Neil Blumenthal Is Behind Each Pair of Free Warby Park Glasses
Company Co-Founder Created Novel Philanthropic Model
Glass Half Full: Neil Blumenthal is one of the four founders of Warby Parker.
Glass Half Full: Neil Blumenthal
is one of the four founders of Warby Parker
Frustration with the traditional glasses industry's byzantine business plan led a band of four former business students from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania - Jeff Raider
, Neil Blumenthal
, Andrew Hunt and David Gilboa - to found Warby Parker
, a brand that seeks to make affordable, high-quality blinkers for the masses.
The charitable end of the company was cooked up by co-founder Blumenthal.
Before meeting the rest of the Warby Parker crew at Wharton, Blumenthal, who is Jewish, studied international relations at Tufts University.
After graduating, he attended the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague, Netherlands.
Blumenthal then went on to work as director of VisionSpring, an organization dedicated to providing prescription glasses to people in countries like India and El Salvador.
is now Warby Parker's
biggest partner; it trains members of low-income communities to sell affordable glasses, creating jobs at the same time it distributes much-needed eyewear.
It's this aspect of Warby Parker
that makes it different from an organization like Tom's, which gives away a pair of shoes for every one purchased.
The glasses become part of the economic infrastructure of an impoverished neighborhood.
"Dropping a shipment of a product into a place can destroy local businesses.
You're effectively dumping on the market," Blumenthal
explained, arguing that using the glasses to create an economic incentive is a more effective system.