Written by: Mahdi Dialden, News Writer
SFU Alumnus Ravi Bansal-Beech, the cofounder of Valley Acrylic Bath, has been working on sinks and bathtubs that fight viral transmission. This is made possible by using innovative materials such as acrylic, that provides a coat which prevents the spread of bacteria. When asked about the objective of her company in an interview, Bansal-Beech said she aimed to create “an environmentally-friendly engineering company.”
Valley Acrylic Bath is a “company started in 2007, that is 100% female owned,” Bansal-Beech claimed. Based in Mission, British Columbia, Bansal-Beech noted all the molding of their products take place in Canada. According to Bansal-Beech, Valley Acrylic Bath “created an oxymoron for bathtubs, because [the bathtubs] save water and energy.”
The whole industry was in panic mode during the pandemic, which motivated Valley Acrylic Bath’s to refocus their vision. “The scariest thing for our industry was when they noticed that the virus lives on stainless steel [as] most of our hospitals are full of stainless steel,” she explained.
Their research resulted in the use of acrylic. The material is insulated which retains energy, is easy to clean, lightweight, and repairable. It offered the coating that would prevent the spread viruses. “Our plumbing industry is the first defense for healthcare [ . . . ] because without proper plumbing and sanitation we don’t have modern medicine,” Bansal-Beech said.
As Bansal-Beech explained, “Short term we can use hand sanitizers but I think that’ll become another problem,” In accordance with this, she stated that Valley Acrylic Bath “are creating portable hand-washing stations that can be put anywhere.” She also talked about how she wants her company to simultaneously educate and promote environmental sustainability and proper sanitation for all Canadians. “For me it’s always been important that the business lines up with my values [ . . . ] sustainability, healthy living, and proper sanitation should be for everybody.”
In regards to the plumbing industry, Bansal-Beech said that it wasn’t easy being a women-owned company in a male-dominated field. “[We’re] at the table, but the table was never created for [us].” She concluded by urging youth to use their entrepreneurial skills to promote proper values.
The one piece of advice she has: “advocacy is one thing, getting shit done is another thing.”