Sometimes solving big challenges requires new thinking.
That’s the idea behind the tee-shirt company Two Blind Brothers. TBB make ultra-soft designer clothes using natural fibers — trendy cuts in bright colors, built with the sole purpose of funding blindness research. “Our shirts feel seriously good,” they say on their website. “Curing blindness feels even better.”
The company quite literally is built around two blind brothers: Bradford and Bryan Manning were both diagnosed at a young age with Stargardt disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration that causes blindness over time. They are both legally blind now, with 20/400 vision. But Stargardt disease generally affects the center vision, leaving peripheral vision unaffected, so both brothers are able to get around without a white cane or guide dog. They do struggle to read small text and recognizing faces, however.
But their business only begins with clothes and accessories. They are the heart that beats within the mission: After TBB sells their designer tees, 100 percent of their profits go to research for curing blindness. “The development of a cure requires time and funding,” they say on their website, and funding is something they can help with. “Last year alone our customers helped us fund 30,678 hours of clinical studies through Foundation Fighting Blindness.”
Their visual impairment left them both with an acute attention to detail, which Two Blind Brothers says is apparent in every product. They make shirts for both men and women that retail for between $35 and $105. They also sell a number of accessories like rings and bracelets emblazoned with “Love is blind” in Braille.
“We’re in business to cure blindness.”
Making a difference sometimes takes a bit of creativity. Two Blind Brothers are making it happen. All it takes is a little vision.