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This desktop app 'blocks' fast fashion brands from your computer — helping you find better, higher-quality clothes

The uBlock Origin Google Chrome extension is a free tool you can use to block fast-fashion brands.

UBlock Origin block fast fashion

Photo Credit: iStock

Trying to break up with fast fashion? This browser tool can help.

The uBlock Origin Google Chrome extension is a free tool you can use to block fast-fashion brands from popping up in your online shopping searches.

What is uBlock Origin?

The uBlock Origin browser extension is a free open-source tool designed for any type of content filtering and blocking. 

It can be used on a number of browsers including Chrome, Chromium, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Pale Moon, and Safari.

How does uBlock Origin work?

Like other browser extension tools, you follow the tool's steps to add to your browser. Typically that just means going to the Google store and installing from there. 

Then, you follow uBlock's simple setup steps. The blog Shop Re.Statement offers a step-by-step guide for installing and customizing your filters. 

Once the tool is installed, you can add the names of fast-fashion brands you want to exclude from your search. 

Note that this tool can be used to block any type of brand from any type of search, so you could also exclude brands that use unsustainable materials such as fur or leather. 

But most browser extensions don't yet work on mobile, so you'll want to keep that in mind if shopping from your iPhone, Android, or another mobile device. 

Why block fast fashion?

Fast fashion's cheap prices can make it all too tempting and easy to fall into the trap of justifying the purchase. But don't let those low prices fool you. 

Fast-fashion items are typically made with cheaper materials, so while the low price may seem undeniable at first, those items will likely need to be replaced sooner than you might expect, costing you big time in the long run.

The fast-fashion industry is also rife with issues. 

From its large carbon footprint to rampant human rights violations at factories to its contributions to global wastewater, there are multiple reasons to avoid fast fashion.

Which brands are considered fast fashion?

There are a number of fast-fashion brands producing cheap goods you may want to keep out of your Google shopping search. 

Below are some of the usual suspects (by no means a complete list):

  1. Shein

  2. Forever 21

  3. Boohoo

  4. Zara

  5. H&M

  6. Victoria's Secret

  7. Old Navy

  8. The Gap

  9. Madewell

  10. Uniqlo

  11. Fashion Nova

  12. Free People

  13. Guess

  14. Urban Outfitters

  15. Topshop

What to shop instead of fast fashion

The alternatives to fast fashion don't have to break the bank. Sustainable fashion brands are making shopping more responsibly affordable and accessible.

Another way to shop sustainably? Shop second hand. 

Whether through your local thrift store or shopping online via platforms like Poshmark and the Vestiaire Collective, buying resale helps to update your wardrobe while keeping items out of landfills.

Want more? Follow The Cool Down on Instagram and join our Weekly Newsletter for cool stories and easy tips that save you money, time, and our planet.

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