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BBMG Green Room Videos With Social Entrepreneurs <i>Green Room</i> Video Series: Selling Eyeglasses to Better the World BBMG Green Room Videos With Social Entrepreneurs <i>Green Room</i> Video Series: Selling Eyeglasses to Better the World

BBMG Green Room Videos With Social Entrepreneurs <i>Green Room</i> Video Series: Selling Eyeglasses to Better the World

by Alex Goldmark
March 25, 2011

The socially-minded brand consultancy BBMG is making some new media: an interview series with social entrepreneurs called the Green Room. It's worth keeping an eye on upcoming episodes for a peek behind the curtain at how business leaders use social values to earn company profits.

An example: this second episode, released today, gives Neil Blumenthal some serious time to explain his one-for-one model of designer eye glasses, and the poverty fighting power of sight.

Blumenthal's year-old company, Warby Parker, donates one pair of glasses to communities in need for each pair of glasses sold. We covered them shortly after their launch and have highlighted several other companies that do this like Tom's Shoes, One Laptop Per Child, Ark Collective for backpacks, and even another eyeglass company, 141 Eyewear. So the Buy One Get One model—BOGO to playful insiders—is nothing new. That makes it all the more interesting to hear how an entrepreneur like Blumenthal is jumping through even more hoops to increase social impact that also brings in the bucks. The point of this video is to get the details behind making a profit out of moral business.

Warby Parker leverages the gift of glasses by distributing the gifted eyewear via local partners for instance, in the process boosting entrepreneurship along with eyesight in the underserved community. Then of course, there's the need in the first place. Blumenthal:

It’s crazy—a billion people on earth don’t have access to glasses. Think about what that means for productivity. Even if you’re an illiterate farmer, you still need to separate seeds to plant. If you’re a tailor you need to thread a needle. This has a profound impact on someone’s ability to learn and work and be a productive member of their community.

About 5:30 into the video he talks about how they made some special glasses to serve as billboards for various causes. So there's another neat way to help support breast cancer research... if you're into pink.

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