Peruvian Pima cotton is world renowned as a high quality fiber, so it's no shock that clothing manufacturing is big business in the South American nation. Earlier this year, the photographer Joseph Pfeifer traveled to Lima, where toured five clothing manufacturing sites, each of which employs on average 1,500 to 2,000 people. Most of the factories are vertical operations, meaning that they turn raw materials into finished products in one location; they also stay open 24 hours a day, though individual employees don't work longer than 10-hour shifts. Pfeifer's photographs offer a look at the impressive scale of these operations, as well as a window into the lives of people who create the products that many Americans buy.
"It's very rare for me to get an unobscured, inside view of a country," says Pfeifer. "I found a real sense of community among the workers. Looking at these factory towns, which were often backed against hills topped with cardboard houses, it was easy to let guilt come into play. Then again most of these people were making decent wages and working under good conditions."
What follows is a selection of Joseph Pfeifer's photographs of Lima, Peru.
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