Press Background Information


MootjArt, new design of old paper

Vision - When compassion becomes fashion

MootjArt: Animalfriendly art, design, deco and accessories of the reused paper.
With the rapid digitalisation, millions of books and magazines are thrown away or at best recycled. MootjArt's mission is to reuse these books. Well, not all of them ... The company gives new life to these books and magazine and makes them into art, handbags, bijoux and home decoration. And not only do they save books, they save animals as well because they do not use leather, silk or wool.  Apart from that, MootjArt thinks that exclusive art and fashion, does not need to cost a monthly salary.

Bio Express - Coming from Netherlands

Mo, short for Monique, is the founder of MootjArt. (Mootje means little Monique in Dutch) Born in the Netherlands in the 60s, she now lives in France with her friend Ernie, trying to make the world a better place.
Always on the lookout for a new challenge, Mo was looking for a way to make an animal-friendly handbag. The strong paper folding technique makes this possible and the reuse of the old paper matches exactly with her ideas and even better, it means that the bags are vegan!
And apart from MootjArt, she loves animals, she is vegan and she plays guitar, yeah kind of a hippie. Ernie supports Mo with the technical challenges and he created and maintains this website.

A word from MootjArt - Interview with the founder

1. When and why did you leave the Netherlands?
In 2000 we left because of nature disappeared in the Netherlands and the country became fuller and busier. In the Corrèze we found that peace and nature again. Since 2015 we have been living in the Hérault in Verreries de Moussans a stone's throw away from Labastide-Rouairoux, where I started to make animalfriendly art and bags from recycled paper.

2. What did you do for a living in the Netherlands and did you have a job in France?
In the Netherlands I was a residential consultant at a housing association and in France I have written books for ten years.

3. And now you put your own books in art?
Oh no, not my own books! I am passionate about reusing and I've always liked creativity. I don't like throwing away books, in this consumer society we are already throwing away too much. Apart from books I especially use "glossy" magazines.

4. What is the main activity of your company?
My bags are in great demand and I give workshops to creative associations.

5. Why don't you just make bags from leather?
As a vegan, I have always been looking for alternatives to leather. Leather products are environmentally polluting our planet. Both in the production of leather and in the processing of leather. Consider also the food that animals that produce leather need and the manure they produce. I also find the abuse in the animal industry horrible. In addition, there are very good alternatives for leather and one of them is paper.

6. How do you come up with this idea of recycling?
In January 2017 I discovered this ancestral technique that origins probably in Mexico. I adopted it in my own way and so I create my surprising and exclusive art. But it is not recycling, it is reuse. I use the paper as I find it in its original form.

7. How does this weaving technical work?
It's not braiding or weaving, it's a folding technique a bit like origami, very precise and meticulous, it's a real close work. I save all sorts of paper like magazines, sheet music, publicity flyers, catalogues and chocolate tablet wrappers. I cut hundreds of small squares following a colour or theme to find the harmony a client asks. Then I'm cutting strips of paper and I glue the squares onto the strips.  I laminate these strips by hand, I fold the strips together and they are then sewn together and a design object is born.

8. What a donkeys job!
Yes, for a big bag I need 400 squares and that costs me a week. I also make the handles and the inside myself.

9. Is this technique strong and waterproof?
Yes and yes. When a strip is ready, you can pull on both sides with two people. It's flexible and at the same time very strong. And if I were you I wouldn't shower with the earrings, but the technique, due to the lamination, can substain rain and it can also be cleaned with a damp cloth.

10. What are your expectations? You are past 50, why do you start a new business?
Colours are my passion and I'm a bit addicted to this technique, especially since it's so innovative and everyone is extremely enthusiastic about my designs. The fact that I personalize the bags according to the wishes, colour and personal pictures of the customer, strikes people the most. I am creative, my strengths are my originality and this innovative sustainable technology. My expectation is that within the year in the Herault my original bags, art, decoration and earrings will be for sale in a lot of boutiques.


 Key dates    The life of our company


 January   On Creativa at Montpellier we found this folding technique
 February   First handbag made: the ToMOrrow
 March   The first friends want a handbag like that one too
 April   The name MO-Bags is born
    The MiniMO bag is developed
 May   Website is in the air
    Started a Facebook page, followed by a dozen orders
    The bag HarMOny is designed
 Summer   Improving the technique, bags become much lighter
 Autumn   Development of the MOdernized bag of recovered bags
 December   Christmas market in Labastide-Rouairoux


 January   Received a lot of orders after the Christmas market
 February   Valentine's Market in Mazamet
    Received several requests for workshops and exhibitions
    Founded an Etsy shop
 March   Made other items with the technique, like a mirror frame, art and bijoux
    Started with incubator service for registration of the company. Big failure.
 April   Got a letter from a lawyer in Germany that the name MO-Bags cannot be used
    Had to remove the Etsy Shop due to lawyer
 May   Finding a new name: MootjArt
    Changed the name everywhere and developed a complete new site
    Installation of the exhibition May-October Hautpoul Mazamet
    Succeeded in the formation of Chamber of Trades and Crafts in Beziers
 June   Numéro SIRET
    The first creative workshop
 August 6   CCHVT animation
    Osmosis with colours


Our products and services - Osmosis with colours



Manufacturing Process - Sustainability and Innovation

First of all a work of art of MootjArt is made with love. Each square starts with a little heart. For a bag or other piece of art, hundreds of recycled paper strips are laminated by hand and folded with a technique like origami and made into strips. The strips are sewn together and thus converged into an unique design. No piece of MootjeArt is the same. A square takes about 5.5 minutes to make, with nearly 400 squares in a big bag, such a bag takes a week. After that the handles and the inner lining are sewn with and attached with rivets.







MootjArt, 06 17 92 08 49, Le Domaine de la Combette, 34220 Les Verreries de Moussans,
numéro SIRET 840223788/00018, IBAN : FR64 2004 1010 0606 0580 7M02 706