Daisy Chain, the Teesside-based charity for people with autism, has launched its online store for high-end clothing.

The charity has estimated a shortfall of £400,000 compared with last year, and the online store has been created in a bid to recoup lost funds caused by the pandemic.

In 2015, the charity opened its superstore on Portrack Lane with the objective of recycling pre-loved items. In an evolution of this flagship store, Daisy Chain is launching an online fashion platform for designer and vintage items featuring brands such as Valentino, Dior and Versace.

The design team at Daisy Chain has selected luxury statement pieces, unveiled in a fashion shoot to showcase a sample of the items available online. To celebrate the industrial heritage of the north east the photo shoot took place on Chemical Beach, Seaham and a Middlehaven dockyard owned by local business Able UK.

Neeraj Sharma, chief executive of Daisy Chain, said: “I’m thrilled that we can announce the long-awaited launch of our online store. We have diversified the charity and created a fashion marketplace where exceptional and unique apparel can be purchased at affordable prices.

“Our charity has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 closures resulting in a shortfall of £400,000 compared to last year. This is essential money that we need to support children, adults and families who live with autism in the Tees Valley. At the same time, we have also seen a surge in demand for support since lockdown. Income generated through this initiative will be reinvested into ensuring the continuation of these vital, much-needed services.

“This has been a huge undertaking and we are humbled by the support of photographers, models and volunteers who have all worked extremely hard to make the photo shoot possible. I’d also like to say a special ‘thank you’ to Able UK for allowing us to access some of Teesside’s historic architectural vantage points.”