Sustainable Fashion: Organic Cotton vs. Conventional Cotton

"these are some of the DRASTIC differences between harvesting organic cotton vs conventional cotton."

seed preparation: Natural, untreated GMO free seeds. 
Typically treated with fungicidesor insecticides. Possible GMOs.

organic: soil preparation: Healthy soil through crop rotation. Retains moisture in soil from increased organic matter. 

  conventional: Synthetic fertilizers, loss of soil due to mono- crop culture, intensive irrigation.

  organic: weed control: Healthy soil creates natural balance. Beneficial insects and trap crops used. 

  conventional : Aerial spraying of insecticide sand pesticides. Nine of the most commonly used pesticides are known cancer-causing agents.

  organic: harvesting: Natural defoliation from freezing temperatures or through the use of water management.   

  conventional: Defoliation induced with toxic chemicals. 

production: organic:  Wrap fibers stabilized using double-plying or nontoxic cornstarch.

  conventional: Wrap fibers stabilized using toxic waxes.

   whitening:   organic:  Safe hydrogen peroxide is used. 
  conventional: Chlorine bleaching creates toxic by-products, which are released into the environment.

finishing:       organic: Soft scour in warm water with soda ash, for a pH of 7.5 to 8. conventional: Hot water, synthetic surfactants, additional chemicals (sometimes formaldehyde).

dyeing:  organic: Low-impact fiber-reactive or natural dyes with low metal and sulfur content. 

  conventional: High temperature containing heavy metals and sulfur.
printing: organic:  Low-impact, water-based inks and/or pigments with no heavy metals. conventional:  Pigments may be petroleum based and contain heavy metals. Run-off spills into waterways, polluting streams.

fair trade: can be for organic:  Social criteria in place to ensure safe, healthy, non-abusive, nondiscriminatory environment with living wages. 

  conventional: No social screening. Possible child or forced labor used. Facilities may be unsafe and unhealthy.

marketing: organic:  Positive story can be told to differentiate you from your competitors. 
  conventional: None. As awareness of organic advantage expands, increased potential for negative image.

price: organic: Initial cost more expensive. Long-term advantages: priceless.

  conventional: Initially cheaper. Long-term impact on environment: devastating