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A screenshot of a website that says "will you shop blind," displaying only prices and add to cart buttons without descriptions or photos
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Add to Cart, in the Dark

How shopping blind can help those in need

The recent holiday season brought with it lots of travel, family parties, helping those in need, and a bunch of shopping. In the spirit of the last two things on that list, we wanted to highlight a cause near to the mission of IBVI that embraces the season of shopping.

Two Blind Brothers, an organization started by brothers Bryan and Bradford Manning, has launched a new campaign this holiday season inviting users to “shop blind.” Their website offers four price points, and puts visitors in the shoes of nearly 180 million blind and visually impaired people: they must buy something without seeing it first, or even knowing what it is.

According to the website, “100% of the profits go to finding cures for the 11 million Americans with retinal eye disease.” The four price options are $32, $59, $99, and a whopping $199, the last of which has a description that reads, “Trust us, it’s worth it.”

The company’s main website–separate from the “shop blind challenge”–features apparel such as shirts, pants, hats, backpacks, and other accessories. One of the shirts spells out “CURE” in braille, while another one is a solid-color shirt that has the color of the shirt discretely printed in braille towards the bottom of the shirt. According to the website, “the raised embroidery allows those with a visual impairment to “read” the color of the shirt. This subtle, yet impactful detail is recognizable, stylish and a great conversation starter.”

The holiday season serves as a time to consider others who may be different from you, and this innovative campaign does just that. It’s certainly outside of most people’s comfort zones to trust and buy something they haven’t seen, but that’s the world of millions of blind and visually impaired people. In addition to supporting the mission of IBVI, we invite you to join this campaign. Some members of our team at IBVI have placed orders on Two Blind Brothers, and we’re excited to see what they receive. But above all else, it’s a season of giving, and we’re most proud to see these profits going to eye disease research.

To learn more, read this recent Forbes article about Two Blind Brothers.


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