I choose to buy my precious metal from a merchant that uses only recycled raw materials wherever possible. This means that they try to not use materials that are obtained from mines but only use metals that have come from scrap such as jewellery and photographic or any other forms of scrap that they are able to purchase. Because my metal supplier makes almost all of their own mill products in Australia they are able to keep tight control of what goes into them, and are also able to ensure that their manufacturing processes use as few resources as possible.
When I purchase ready-made jewellery to sell, I look into the ethical background and practises of the supplier I am purchasing from and make sure they treat their staff with respect and kindness. Much of the jewellery I have not made myself has been made by personal friends of mine, so I sell it knowing its background from start to finish.