With Benefits: Summer Sunglasses

With Benefits is a series featuring for-benefit companies — for-profit models that inherently benefit social causes — written by Janette Crawford, founder of the consistently excellent ethical fashion daily Fashion Loves People.

One out of five people in the world can’t see clearly – that’s 1.3 billion people living without proper vision. Earlier this month, you most likely heard about TOMS revealing its next one-for-one product, sunglasses. Inspired by this announcement, I decided to round-up my four favorite brands offering sight to people in need, in exchange for slick new shades.

4sight Sunglasses

At $89 a pop, 4sight’s glasses clock in as the most affordable on the list. Ben Midanek created the company in 2010 after traveling South America and East Africa and discovering how few people in the developing world had glasses, despite their need for them. 4sight offers eight styles, and for each pair purchased, corrective glasses are donated through nonprofit partners Unite for Sight and Feed the Children.

Proof Sunglasses

Launched earlier this year, Proof offers $90–$130 sunglasses that are made from sustainably sourced wood. They donate a “large” portion of each sale to help individuals in India receive sight-giving surgeries, as well as to a tree replanting initiative in Haiti. They also offer the most varied selection of styles of all the do-gooder brands, with nearly 60 different pairs currently for sale through the label’s site.

TOMS Eyewear

With the purchase of TOMS Eyewear for $135, a medical treatment or a pair of prescription glasses is provided to a person in need via TOMS’ Sight Giving Partners (expert eye care organizations already operating around the world). The TOMS website tells an educational and compelling story regarding the lack of corrective vision services in many regions of the globe, and also reminds us that TOMS customers have enabled the company to donate over 1,000,000 shoes to date – a very impressive feat. Two styles in 18 color variations are available now.

Warby Parker Sun Collection

At this point, you should already know Warby Parker and their one-for-one glasses model. Well now the company is set to release a collection of $95-a-pair sunglasses. As with their regular glasses, for every pair purchased, a pair of prescription glasses will be donated to someone in need though the VisionSpring nonprofit. Multiple styles and colorways will be available.

Statistics in intro from 4sight

About the author:

Janette Crawford is a blogger, journalist and copywriter, focusing on stories about good design with a good backstory. She writes about ethical fashion (that loves you back) at FashionLovesPeople.com and supports indie artists of all kinds through her day job at Storenvy.com. If you sign up for Janette’s RSS feed and follow her on Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo, she’ll love you forever.

  • http://reverbnation.com/aaronglass Aaron Glass

    I’ve got a pair of 4sights and I love them… Affordable, and ridiculously nice, they make me feel good, and what’s even better is they help the world! Bravo Ben!

  • Jake

    i constantly get compliments on my 4sight tortoise classics — it’s great, because that usually leads to a conversation about 4sight’s compelling story and important mission!

  • virginia

    i just got my first pair. not only do i feel cool wearing them but to know it is helping someone in need just makes me happy. also, in my opinion, out of the other companies that are doing the same, 4sightsunglasses has the best designs!

  • Richard

    These glasses are great. The frames are solid and the quality really stands out.

    Great mission and a great product.

  • Lori

    I bought a pair of 4sight sunglasses and I absolutely LOVE them! Super quality, they look amazing and a good cause on top of that.

  • Max

    There is also another company called 4sight that was doing this first. Check them out

    • http://well-spent.com Brad

      They’re the first company listed.

  • james f

    Thanks for the great article.
    I got a pair of Proofs when they first came out. By far the most forward thinking company out.
    They even recycle shades giving their customers a craddle to the grave solution for their products.

    plus they just ooze cool. Always get a ton of compliments when I hit the streets with my Proofs on.

  • randall Gregs

    Thanks for the article!
    Love that there are so many companies out there giving back
    went and checked out a few of the websites.
    really impressed. the all wood shades are so killer I had to buy a pair. Happy 4th of july to me.

    thanks again for spotlighting cool companies doing cool things.

  • http://kaufmann-mercantile.com Aurora

    thanks. I really needed this post today.

    • http://well-spent.com Brad

      That might be one of my favorite comments.