All you need to know about PROJECT 2024 and science-based Circular Economy lighting

Sophie Gollop, Co-founder and Managing Director of  Urban Cottage Industries and FACTORYLUX. At work next to our production line

PROJECT 2024 is a roadmap, it takes us from where is today, to where it will be by the end of 2024, when every single product will have been phased out and replaced with circular economy equivalents.

There are two ways it’s a unique opportunity for you, firstly you can follow the story as we become the first lighting manufacturer to transition to a properly sustainable future. Secondly, you can grab yourself a bargain: as each product is discontinued, it will move to the end-of-line section of the website.



In the last 3-5 years, the ‘architectural lighting’ side of our business, Factorylux, has pioneered four important advances in circular economy lighting (one is already a published patent).
It's led to us working with brilliant architects and building engineers all over the world, such as ARUP and Foster & Partners, two of the worlds iconic architecture and engineering brands.

“Factorylux are designing and delivering the lighting of the future”

- J Sherman, Foster + Partners

We've basically discovered something really important that we're really good at and we need to properly focus on it.

The product footprint of Urban Cottage Industries (the 'decorative lighting' side of our business) is OK, but getting serious on climate change, waste and pollution means not overlooking any size gap.

It won't be easy, because many Urban Cottage Industries products are more than a decade old and still popular, but they don’t comply to the latest circular economy standards we've created and must make way for a new generation of lighting.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” - George Bernard Shaw


The replacements will be similar, but not the same - they can’t be, because the materials and process we have to use to make them are different. Here are the design objectives of PROJECT 2024:

  1. Zero-plastic, zero-paint, zero-adhesive, zero-VOCs (excluding electronics)

  2. No composites - all components are single material.

  3. Upgradability, repairability, disassembly w/ standard hand tools

  4. End-of-life ‘closed loop’ / 'Unmake' in our own UK circular economy factory


When we co-founded Urban Cottage Industries Ltd in 2008, we designed and assembled simple light fittings on our kitchen table, with a side hustle of letterpress printing.

Our big passion was actually 'sustainability' and we went on to work out how to do it in the real world. In the years since, we invested everything into developing a new kind of circular economy factory in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire from where we could turn our circular economy ideas into a workable reality.

The Factorylux circular economy lighting factory in Hedden Bridge, Yorkshire

If you’ve ever purchased a wall light or a ceiling light, lighting components, a letterpress card or notebook from, you helped pay for this circular economy factory 🙏.

It was an ambitious target because ‘closed loop’ circular economy has never been achieved before in the lighting industry.

We self-financed the journey by designing, manufacturing and selling all kinds of different lighting along the way, mostly through but we also took on many other challenges, such as ‘Hugo’, an Oscar winning film we worked on for Martin Scorcese (that was a seriously good experience).

Urban Cottage Industries lighting for the Oscar winning film, 'Hugo' directed by Martin Scorsese

At the time, 'Hugo' was the most complex project we'd ever delivered - we designed & built hundreds of lights for this film.

Most recently, we launched Factorylux, an 'architectural lighting' start-up in a startup. Architects have taken the lead on sustainability in general and circular economy in particular, they 'get it'.

Factorylux NINETY-NINE® spotlights lighting art in a gallery with TRACK-PIPE® lighting track

Factorylux discovered how to make standard lighting products (like these simple gallery spotlights on adjustable track) that are easy to disassemble & don't contain any plastics, composites or VOC-generating chemicals, such as paint.

In 2022, Factorylux landed the biggest gig of our lives, a mega-project for Foster & Partners. As well as the revenue to finish our circular economy factory, it validated our years of research and development. We’re here for it!


HOW WILL PROJECT 2024 AFFECT URBAN COTTAGE INDUSTRIES was the biggest and most important chapter of this circular economy story because without it, we couldn’t have paid for the ticket - investors wouldn't have taken our circular economy dreams seriously and to be fair, it often felt unachievable to us!

That research and development work is  complete now (we've even nearly finished writing the book) and between now and the end of 2024 we’ll be saying thank you and goodbye Urban Cottage Industries. 



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