Favourite Things: Independents’ Day

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Mark Musgrave was brought up in Scunthorpe and has lived in Sheffield since 2008 after coming to study business management.

Since winning the University of Sheffield Enterprise Award, he has launched independent ethical clothing label The Level Collective (www.thelevelcollective.co.uk) inspired by working with a charity in Romania.

It teams up with ethical suppliers across the world and creatives from Sheffield and across the country for a range of screen-printed t-shirts and chunky beanie hats handmade in Romania. Mark is a guitarist and songwriter, playing the occasional gig in Sheffield, and enjoys travel.

He currently also works as a web and graphic designer at a software development company in Sheffield, but dreams of managing The Level Collective full time. This weekend is the start of Fair Trade Fortnight.

My wife

I had to get the soppy one in there, if only to avoid sleeping on the sofa! My beautiful wife Charlotte was born and bred in Sheffield and has introduced me to many Sheffieldisms such as Henderson’s Relish, which locals douse on any consumable (even cereal I’m told), the concept of being ‘nesh’ - which apparently means she’s cold, and the art of missing out consonants and often entire words, when conversing with other locals.

Natural beauty

In addition to city parks, I love the fact that from various parts of the city you can bike for just a few minutes and you’re surrounded with hills and streams and wildlife. There’s just so many really stunning places on the outskirts of Sheffield such as Redmires, the Longshaw Estate and More Hall reservoir.


At a time where the heart and soul of towns and cities have been swallowed up by generic, monotonous chains, Sheffield boasts a heartening selection of independent shops (Moonko, Birds Yard, Millenium Gallery), restaurants (The Milestone, The Mogul Room) and bars (Bungalows and Bears, Old House, Forum, The York, Devonshire Cat) to name just a handful of each. They are run by people who love what they do.

Music Scene

I love that Sheffield has great heritage of excellent musicians and continues to offer great opportunities for local bands with brilliantly gig venues such as The Harley, Queens Social Club, Soyo, The Bowery and, of course, Tramlines festival.

University of Sheffield

Sheffield is a great city to be a student with a really good students union, and lots of great places to go and things to do . Oh, and lots of excellent educational courses. My favourite students union night had to be the cheesy brilliance of “Pop-Tarts”, which features a playlist completely unacceptable in any other context.

Our Cow Molly

Our Cow Molly from Bradfield is far from normal ice cream. The creaminess can only be described as filthy in the finest possible sense. My favourite flavour is chocolate, nuts and caramel.

Creative Enterprise

Sheffield is a great city to start a business in with inspiring workshops and networking events as well as excellent suppliers, creatives and independent shops ,open-minded and interested in what you’re doing. Sheffield has been a great place to start The Level Collective.