Warby Parker is making moves. It just announced that it is opening a 34,000-square-foot optical lab in the Mid-Hudson Region, about an hour away from Manhattan. It will hire 130 new staff, adding to the 250 people it employs in its Manhattan headquarters. It is investing $16 million to construct and outfit the new lab.
The new facility will allow the brand to manufacture its own glasses from start to finish. Right now, when you place an order, the lenses and frames get shipped off to one of several labs around the country that specialize in constructing eyeglasses. "We've always been focused on making our company as vertically integrated as possible," Warby Parker cofounder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal tells Fast Company. "This gets us one step further." This means that the company will have more control over the manufacturing process and will be able to produce glasses more quickly.
Warby Parker, which is one of our most innovative companies and is currently being featured in the magazine, has a social mission of donating a pair of glasses for every pair purchased. While it has retail locations across the country, it is known for being one of the first great made-for-the-Internet brands.