Champaign Central Chronicle

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Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

Stanley Cups: Facts and Firm Feelings

Trends in this world come and go. From fashion to stories to jokes, there is always something popular being passed around. Recently, this phenomenon has extended to drinking vessels, specifically those from the brand Stanley. These cups seem to be everywhere, permeating classrooms, stores, and life in general. The question, though, is what is the buzz around Stanley cups? And are they worth the hype?

What are Stanley drinking cups?

Stanley Cups, in this context, are not a hockey championship. Rather, they are a drinking vessel created by the Stanley brand. 

The Stanley company was founded in 1913 by William Stanley Jr.. According to the Stanley website, “He fused vacuum insulation and the strength of steel in one portable bottle, inventing the all-steel vacuum bottle we know and love today.” 

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The story goes that Stanley was looking for an effective and reliable way to keep his coffee warm. Back then, double-walled glass bottles had been popular for this, but the glass would break easily, and they would be costly to replace. Stanley pioneered double-wall steel vacuum insulation with his cups in order to compensate. This started with the Char-VacTM in the beginning, which had a double walled design with charcoal packed in between, making it more insulating and durable. 

Though this design was discontinued in the early 2000’s due to the possibility of breaking of the vacuum seal and releasing the charcoal powder, it paved the way for the Stanley designs we know today. Most cups feature this double-walled design– with the outer one being thicker to accommodate the lack of charcoal– and are much lighter and easier to carry as a result. 

But this technology doesn’t just extend to cups. The Stanley brand produces cookware, food storage devices, and other drinking vessels. However, the most common type of Stanleys seen around Central High School are the Quenchers.

These cups are known for their insulating properties, conformity to cupholders, and cute colors and designs. On the Stanley website, they come in sizes ranging from 14-64 oz., and cost between 20$-60$ (non-retail price). There are a variety of colors, as well as the occasional special edition. 

Opinions on Stanleys

There are a variety of people who own and use Stanley cups. Mattie Meron – who owns an off-white 30 oz Stanley – says she sees people sporting them “pretty often,” often seeing one or two in each of her classes. Meron first heard of the drinking vessels on social media, and purchased hers as her water bottle for this school year.

Others are more skeptical of the newest cup trend. Renea Dillow, a senior at Central whose mother owns a Stanley cup, does not see the hype behind Stanley cups. “I never saw the appeal of owning one and I never understood the hype considering it’s just another cup,” she said.

Many owners of Stanley cups greatly enjoy them, with the major benefit being the insulating properties. Meron said, “It keeps ice in it for a long time. … I like when water’s cold, and my room’s in the basement, so I don’t want to go up every time just to get new ice.” 

“I think the capability of holding cold water is quite nice, especially going through the school day,” said Carly Lamoreaux, another Stanley owner.

Aside from that though, there are other benefits as well. Meron said, “They(Stanley cups) are very sturdy and good for everyday use, and fit in car cup holders.” 

Dillow says, “The pros lie mostly in the model of it all. The bottom fits into cup holders while still being large enough to hold the amount of water that one wants to drink in a day. It comes with a straw, making it easier to reach your water goals. The handle is also something that people loved about this cup, being able to hold it comfortably.”

One of the main concerns with Stanley cups is that they leak a lot. Indeed, Dillow said, “You’d think with such a good design they’d make a leakproof top to go along with it.” Meron also commented that the leakiness led her to continue using her Stanley at home, rather than at school.

Both Dillow and Meron also remarked that the size of the cups is a bit cumbersome. Though they can fit inside cup holders, Stanley cups fit less easily in backpacks, and can be seen as clunky to carry throughout the day.

In comparison to most other reusable drinking vessels, though, many seem to believe there isn’t much extra benefit. Though she enjoyed the temperature aspect, Meron still said, “They(Stanley cups) are pretty much the same. I don’t feel like there’s that much special about them.”

Renea Dillow expressed similar opinions, and didn’t feel they offered much more than her preferred Iron Flask brand water bottle. She remarked that, more than anything, people are more concerned about its popularity. “There are better designs but I think in the end people don’t see the cup, they see the trend. What could be a twenty dollar cup now runs for about eighty(this is the price her mother bought her own Stanley cup for), all because of the trend on social media.”

Meron said she’d gotten her own Stanley cup in store for 35$, while some are arguing they are priced from 70-80$. She also mentioned the media played a large role in their rise to popularity. “People on social media made them popular so people buy them,” she said. 

Sky’s opinions on Stanleys

You may have noticed an uptick in people carrying these ridiculous water “bottles” recently, and I’m here to inform you on why I think it is a horrible trend. Stanleys grew to popularity among this specific group of people as a result of influencers promoting them, and we all know nothing has ever gone wrong with that. These absolute monstrosities of a drinking vessel come in several basic colors, as well as more exciting colors available seasonally. But, the vast majority of people seem to enjoy their cups in the worst color– beige. In my opinion, beige is boring. Why have a color that lacks even joy? I get the “clean girl” aesthetic and minimalism is very popular right now, but as a lifelong maximalist I have always despised it. And they don’t even put fun stickers on them! 

Besides the awful aesthetic of these water bottles, they are also functionally inept. We get it, it’s nice to have a water bottle that fits in car cup holders, but why not a water bottle you can trust not to spill? There are so many water bottles out there that actually work, and will still keep your drinks cold. The temperature feature also seems to be something that is purely American. No one else loves ice as much as we do, so it really doesn’t serve a purpose to international users. The insulation does have a double purpose for hot drinks as well, but the people we interviewed seem to only appreciate cold drinks. 

The Stanley fad sweeping the nation is fueled purely by the influencers we see online, and has been exaggerated beyond repair. Everyone loves a good water bottle, but people are downright obsessed with these. Collectors spend an obscene amount of money on their collections, but some people have taken it even further. Terence Reilly, the global president of Stanley, reportedly said, “I got a note this week that somebody wanted their ashes placed in their favorite Stanley,” (Issawi 25). I think we can all agree that we have taken these mediocre water bottles way too far.

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Adelaide Kota, Features Editor
Sophomore, she/her "I prefer my misery to come at me in stages, so I can acclimate on the way."— George Cubbins Have fun!

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