Natural fibers with a soft touch, bright and shiny colors, a cuddle for the body and also for the heart. Stone is a Spanish brand born four years ago by the inspiration of Casilda Diaz de Bustamante. 32-year-old, married, a two-year-old girl, Casilda studied Business Administration between Madrid and Paris and then began a career as Marketing Manager at L’Oréal for six years. Her last experience in the French company was in Chile. She later decided to take a break and travel to Nepal where she lived for four months doing social work for orphaned children. It was during this journey that Casilda discovered natural fibers, the starting point for the creation of the Stone brand based on the concept of simplicity. To date the brand, based in Barcelona, is present in 10 countries with more than 70 stores such as Merci in Paris, Takashimaya in Tokyo, Workshop in Milan.
What does inspired you to create this brand?
It was this unexpected trip to Nepal where I discovered natural fibers and fabrics. Surrounded by the most wonderful scenery and people I’ve ever seen, I discovered the perfect combination of tradition and quality.
What does the word Stone mean to you?
It reflects our love for nature, simplicity, material durability and conveys the original concept of the brand: the stone itself is a tribute to involuntary beauty. No matter how many changes it experiences, it always acquires different forms and scars caused by nature: storms, wind, water, sun … The stones persist forever and are unintentionally beautiful.
Your keywords are Nature, Quality and People. Why did you choose this philosophy?
Love for nature drives us to preserve it. We created Stone with the idea of being not just a brand but of becoming something more. We are very aware of all the damage that the fashion industry is causing to the planet and this is why we have created a sustainable brand. But to make this possible and to make it grow it was fundamental to create a team that works passionately and believes in this thought. We also take care of the people who make our clothes directly.
Where do you produce them?
In the origin country of the fiber or locally in Spain. We believe in the importance of traceability of the entire process necessary for creating a scarf so that we can understand and evaluate the final product. We always travel to the place of origin to understand and learn about the fiber, to meet the suppliers and their way of working, to make sure that everything is done in a sustainable way and to check well that the employees have fair conditions. If all this satisfies us we start a partnership. For example in Peru we produce Baby Alpaca garments and in Mongolia our cashmere garments. We also try to produce things locally in Spain, to have a closer relationship with the workshops here too and to encourage local productions that are very useful for sustainability.
In a historical moment where there are more and more types of fabrics available, how much do you think is important to use natural fibers?
It is true that the industry nowadays offers a wide range of materials, however we must look very closely at their quality and their compositions. Did you know that every year there are 8 tons of clothes thrown away in Europe? This need to buy and throw away clothes in a short time is destroying our planet. In this context and for ethical reasons we want Stone to be a brand that lasts a lifetime and the only way to do it is to bet on producing garments that have a high level of quality. All our items are made with 100% natural fibers because quality confers durability and durability is achieved only with quality. So we believe that not only is it essential but also very useful to have high quality garments to change the consumer mentality from fast fashion to slow fashion and consequently take care of our planet.
Do you follow a sustainable lifestyle in your daily life?
Yes, in small ways. I try to consume what I need and no more. For example, I always try not to throw out food, so before I go shopping again I empty the refrigerator. I don’t use plastic bags in my house and in fact we always use cloth bags for shopping. I use public transport or I walk every day. I never take the car unless absolutely necessary. I have a one-year-old daughter and I try to be responsible for her in terms of sustainability and education. Now that it is growing rapidly, I try not to buy more clothes than she needs. Even with her toys, we try to be simple. She doesn’t have a full bag, only those who can get into a basket that we gave her. We also separate the waste into different recycling containers, of course.
Returning to Stone, you have made a collaboration with Marina Testino. She has produced a wonderful and colorful design for your scarves inspired by the artist Kim Minku. Why did you choose her and how was your experience together?
We were looking for someone who could breathe our own values and then transmit them. Marina had started a 30-day challenge which consisted in always wearing the same red overalls in order to create awareness that with less you can do much more. This caught our attention and we contacted her. The search for an image for our brand has turned into a colorful and bold collaboration. We took care of making the scarves and she designed them inspired by the beautiful art of Kim Minku. It was a very rewarding collaboration thanks to which we entered in the US market, one of our expanding goals. The collection has been a great success.
Which book are you reading now?
“Learning from the best” by Francisco Alcaide Hernández. It is a collection of personal stories of women and men who are having or have been successful in life. Suggestions and personal experiences ready to keep you motivated all day long.