“Every time you buy one of these shirts, please think about it, you are buying a piece of the life of the woman who made it.”
412 migrants died on either side of the U.S./Mexico border while attempting to reach the U.S. in 2017, while billions of dollars in sportswear was crossing legally. Iconic brands like Under Armour, Champion and Nike are made by the same people willing to risk death to seek a better life. In Honduras, US trade policy and migration policy intersect at free-trade zone factories called maquilas.
Outside of the sprawling industrial park in Choloma, Honduras, maquila workers spoke of shoulder pain so severe they go numb, salaries that don’t even cover basic provisions, and the depression of doing 5,000 repetitive movements a day without adequate breaks.
In this collaborative portrait series, I asked the workers I met to choose a location they felt would show policymakers and consumers life on the other side of these brands, and asked them to wear products with a “Made in Honduras” tag if they were able. The portraits are meant to be evocative of sportswear advertising - empowering of the individual - but embed a deeply personal truth about the life of the worker.