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The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Stanley craze hits the Hill, but for how long?

Ms. Harvey and Gianna Casci ‘26 showing off their Stanleys. Photo by Natalia Rosales ’26.

Is any water bottle worth more than $150? Apparently the Stanley Tumbler is. Everywhere you look, a Tolog is holding one. They are, by all accounts, great at keeping drinks cold and are apparently fun to use, but why is everyone so obsessed with them? 

Some blame social media. 

The Stanley brand has been around for more than 100 years. In 1913, the inventor William Stanley introduced a steel, insulated bottle as an upgrade from the glass traveler bottles of the time. Interestingly, the Stanley was originally intended for men, specifically men with laborious jobs. 

In 2016, when the brand introduced new models like the “Quencher” and “IceFlow,” their audience began to expand. But it wasn’t until Ashlee LeSueur and Taylor Cannon, who run the online shopping site “The Buy Guide,” blogged about Stanley in 2020 that the bottle went viral.

“I heard about the trend through social media and also from my friends,” Gianna Casci ‘26, who goes by Gigi, said. 

Francesca Anderson ‘24, known as Frankie, had a similar introduction.  

“I heard about Stanley cups mostly from TikTok and my sister, Payton, who was the first one in my family to buy one,” Anderson said. 

Like Casci and Anderson, many new users of the Stanley became aware of the brand due to its popularity on TikTok. The tumbler has gained so much attention that videos on TikTok under the hashtag “#stanleytumbler”’ now boast over 1.2 billion views and more than 67,000 posts. According to Forbes, today Stanley is a $750 million dollar company, surpassing competing water bottle brands. The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2023 Stanley enjoyed $1.8 billion worth of sales and increased its profits by 33%.

“I don’t own one, but my 12 year old daughter wants one in every color,” Mrs. Denise Bilotta, Administrative Assistant, said.  

The tumbler’s practicality is one of the reasons the brand has seen so much interest. 

A viral TikTok uploaded by user DaniMarieLettering shows how a Stanley tumbler survived a car fire and afterwards still contained ice.

“It [the Stanley] keeps my water cold for days. I think there are many other options for water bottles but out of all the ones I have tried, the Stanley keeps the water coldest,” Casci said.

What differentiates the Stanley are its unique features, variety of colors and limited edition launches.

“I like the handle compared to other brands like [Hydro Flask]. I also like being [able] to decorate my Stanley with cute straw toppers… seeing everyone’s different toppers is really cool,” Anderson said. 

In partnership with Starbucks, Stanley released a limited edition tumbler, a vibrant, pink or red, Valentine’s Day themed Quencher that was sold only at specific Target and Starbucks locations. 

When word spread about this collaboration, demand for Stanley products immediately skyrocketed. Devoted customers traveled to multiple Starbucks and Targets to find the limited edition tumbler. 

Some even camped out overnight to get their hands on one. 

“I think that people who collect Stanleys and camp out are ridiculous… there is no reason to camp in a parking lot just to get a limited edition water bottle,” Casci said. 

Most products from the collaboration are now being resold on sites like Ebay for hundreds of dollars. Some are lucky to find them in-store. 

Stanley tumblers are so beloved that owning just one often isn’t enough. In a feature with the Wall Street Journal, 16 year old Amelia Awad revealed that she owns 67 of them. When you consider that the price of the average Stanley tumbler is between $35 to $45, that’s more than $2,000 in Stanley tumblers!  

“It is a nice, cute water bottle, but I don’t think anybody needs more than one or two. It is just such a waste of money and resources,” Casci said.

It also defeats the purpose of the brand’s mission. On its official website, the brand claims that 

“Stanley products are created and manufactured to last a lifetime.” Why, if a product is designed to last that long, would anyone need to possess more than one?

While there are many positives to the Stanley tumbler, a potential downside is its structure. 

“It [the Stanley] is a bit bulky and doesn’t quite fit in my backpack. It is heavy and cumbersome. You always have to use the handle to carry it,” Casci said.

Then there’s the straw topper. 

“The only issue I have is that, even with a straw topper, they tend to leak a lot if they tip over. I also wash my tumbler regularly but I worry about possible mold with parts like the straw, especially after seeing so many TikTok videos about people getting sick from mold in their bottles, or finding a spider in my straw,” Anderson said. 

Mrs. Bilotta, who doesn’t own a Stanley, also thinks the straw lid can be an issue. 

“With exposed straws it doesn’t seem like they would stay clean,” she said. 

In 2024, Stanley owners posted concerns about lead in Stanley cups and began investigating the issue with at-home testing kits. The verdict? Stanley tumblers do contain lead. Though a Stanley spokesperson explained that the lead levels in each tumbler do not pose a danger, it has scared away some potential buyers. 

How long will the brand’s popularity last? Social media may provide a clue. In 2019, the “VSCO Girl” trend, an aesthetic centered around the themes of summer, sustainability and the photography app VSCO, went viral on all social media platforms. Prominently featured in each post was the Hydro Flask water bottle.

Eventually, of course, the VSCO Girl trend faded, and with it, sales of Hydro Flasks. Many say the same thing will happen to the Stanley.

“I honestly think [Stanley tumblers] might just fade [away] like Swell and Hydro[Flask]…and the hype will eventually die down,” Anderson said. 

Trends have always been a big part of platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. But due to the rapid growth in consumerism on social media, those trends are rising and falling more quickly than ever, and today’s must-own accessory becomes tomorrow’s forgotten also-ran in the blink of an eye.

Though today it may seem like every Tolog is carrying a Stanley when she enters the classroom building each morning, will this be the case in a year’s time? We will see.

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About the Contributor
Natalia Rosales
Natalia Rosales, Staff Writer
Natalia Rosales is a new sophomore staff writer for the Veritas Shield this year. She plays soccer, track and field, and golf for Flintridge Sacred Heart. Natalia also loves music, sports, anything pop-culture and being with friends and family. She is excited and ready to contribute to the Shield!

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