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Dresden Vision credentials

  • High-quality, low-cost glasses
  • Modular system allows you to mix and match frames and arms
  • Lenses pop out to easily go into new frame fronts
  • Recycled and recyclable materials
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • Lenses cut in-store. No wait time for most prescriptions

We’re on a mission to bring high-quality, sustainably made prescription glasses to anyone in the world, no matter where they live and how much money they have.

Our goal is to transform people’s lives through better vision – enabling them to learn, work and be independent.

By 2050 there’ll be more than five billion people worldwide who are unable to see clearly without glasses.

We have stores in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and a website that services anywhere in the world with shipping capped at US$15.

Our standard price includes frame and quality German-designed lenses. Most customers pay that much. We have a policy of never upselling and because we have only one frame style (in four sizes) you’ll always know what the frame costs. We only charge more if you need complicated or very strong lenses.

Media contact details

Australia: Bonnie Hudson, 0402 510

Canada: Mike Murray, 416 500

We’re always happy to provide glasses for photo shoots, movies, etc.

The background

Co-founder Bruce Jeffreys was a frustrated glasses-wearer. Glasses can be annoying. You lose them, you break them, you scratch them. They’re expensive.

And, as Bruce learned when his children came along, kids take great delight in grabbing glasses off an adult’s face and flinging them around the room.

Bruce started wondering how to create a new experience for people who wear glasses. Then he found a partner in co-founder Jason McDermott, a designer with equally poor vision. A natural fit.

From there, the Dresden team formed in Sydney around a simple mission – putting the glasses-wearer at the centre of everything.

They asked, how did we end up going into sterile shops and paying ridiculous prices in order to see well? Why were glasses made using such wasteful processes? How could glasses be more functional, versatile, fun and sturdy, with low-cost backups when you need them?

HOW much did your glasses cost?!

The reality is that most glasses company are ripping you off. Selling glasses for $500-plus and making a fortune in the process.

The bulk of brands you know are owned by a company called Luxotica Essilor, which is valued at around 50 billion euros (yep, you read that right).

Their brands include Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue, Oliver Peoples and Giorgio Armani, and retailers include Clearly, FramesDirect, OPSM and Sunglass Hut.

We believe our offering is superior. Our glasses are better value and our prices are, well, superb.

The Guardian has recently published an investigation into the power of Luxotica Essilor. “And when all else fails, Essilor – like its rivals, and like all wholesalers – uses financial incentives to keep its customers satisfied. Opticians and industry analysts that I spoke to for this article described how Essilor uses so-called “spiff money” – offering stores large, multi-year discounts and cash bonuses for selling its products – in order to squeeze out the competition.”

Getting practical

We applied a fair whack of Australian pragmatism to these design ideals. We designed our own ‘system’ – a single frame style in four sizes, to suit the maximum number of face shapes – in conjunction with industrial design specialists Vert.

Metal hinges are the most common breakage point in glasses, so after a lot of trial and error, we came up with a better design. Plastic hinges integrated into our frame fronts and the arms locked together with a plastic ‘pin’. No fiddly screws or tools needed, simply a snug-fitting pin with an easy pop-in-and-out action.

Then we thought about how frame sets could easily be customised. Why not have some fun by changing out frame front and arm colours, and materials too? How about interchangeable lenses cut in-store for more flexibility, functionality and convenience, too?

Now we had a transparent, simple system that catered to our customers’ changing tastes. Good to go.

We are one of the top 20 winners in the 2018 Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow Awards